McCain Letter: Stimulus a Democratic Giveaway Bill

Tuesday, 03 Feb 2009 05:33 PM

By Rick Pedraza

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In an attempt to rally opposition to President Barack Obama’s runaway spending, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., writes in an email to his supporters Tuesday that Republicans have not been given enough input on the economic stimulus package and, "unfortunately, the proposal on the table is big on the giveaways for the special interests and corporate high rollers, yet short on help for ordinary working Americans."

McCain, the former GOP presidential nominee, acknowledges the country is going through difficult economic times, but says he will not support Obama and the Democratic Party’s economic stimulus package in its current form.

“I cannot and do not support the package on the table from the Democrats and the Obama Administration,” McCain writes. “Our country does not need just another spending bill, particularly not one that will load future generations with the burden of massive debt. We need a short term stimulus bill that will directly help people, create jobs, and provide a jolt to our economy.”

The e-mail, which was sent to McCain’s network of 2008 presidential campaign supporters by his Country First political action committee, asks people to sign an online petition opposing the $819 billion plan, which passed the House last week with no Republican support and is before the Senate this week.

“Republicans have not been given the opportunity to be involved,” McCain explains in the missive. “The House of Representatives passed a stimulus bill without a single Republican supporting it. In the Senate, the Democrat leadership is trying to jam the existing proposal through regardless of reservations from a number of members. With so much at stake, the last thing we need is partisanship driving our attempts to turn the economy around."

McCain writes that he appreciates the outreach and discussions Obama is having with his Republican colleagues, “but the time for talking has come to an end and we must now begin some serious negotiation."

On Monday, McCain said on CNN's "American Morning" that Obama and the Democrats will have to "seriously negotiate" with Republicans if they want to pass a stimulus plan with bipartisan support.

"I think we are clearly prepared to sit down, discuss, negotiate a true stimulus package that will create jobs," McCain said. "But now it's time, after the way it went through the House without any Republican support. It's been rammed through the Senate so far. We need to seriously negotiate. We haven't done that yet."

McCain, according to a CNN report, would like to eliminate policy changes that have nothing to do with job creation and says the way to separate what's pork and what isn't is by asking two things: Does it take effect in the next year or so? And does it create jobs?

Meanwhile, House Republicans put out a list of more than 30 "wasteful" provisions in the Senate version of the nearly $900 billion economic recovery package, including:

  • $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings.

  • $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

  • $850 million for Amtrak.

  • $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

  • $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.

  • $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

  • $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

  • $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

  • $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

  • $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

  • $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration. (source: CNN)

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