Blumenauer Calls for an Economic Stimulus Package That Helps Workers and Families

February 14, 2002
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed for a third time a Republican economic stimulus measure. The bill, H.R. 622, is a $150 billion economic stimulus plan loaded with tax cuts for corporations. Republicans hope to attach the legislation to a Senate-passed bill that extends unemployment benefits. House Democrats were not permitted to offer an alternative proposal or amend the bill.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer released the following statement on the measure:

On this Valentine’s Day the Republican leadership is presenting America’s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals with another sweetheart deal, while people and families in Oregon and across the nation continue to wait for a meaningful economic stimulus package.

The State of Oregon continues to lead the nation in unemployment, so it is frustrating to see Republican proposals that continue to focus on people who need the federal government’s help the least. Even more exasperating is the fact that these corporate tax credits and tax cuts will be paid by Social Security and Medicare surpluses.

A true economic stimulus package would directly put people back to work and not last longer than necessary. The bill before us today is not an economic stimulus package, is not temporary, and does not target relief to businesses hurt by the recession.

The most significant and appropriate response to help the American people would be accomplished by increasing funding for ready-to-go public works projects that will reduce unemployment, while benefiting communities across the country. Every state in the nation has transportation, water, environmental clean-up, and other infrastructure projects that could immediately employ people to make our communities safer and healthier.

This bill is the third attempt by the Republican leadership to use a weakened economy as an excuse for permanent tax breaks for their favored few. Until a fair and sensible economic stimulus package is presented to the House, I must withhold my support.