What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Infrastructure Funding : H.R. 1 Economic stimulus /On passage of the legislation providing more than $800 billion in stimulus spending and tax reductions. (2009 house Roll Call 46)
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H.R. 1 Economic stimulus /On passage of the legislation providing more than $800 billion in stimulus spending and tax reductions.
house Roll Call 46     Jan 28, 2009
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This vote was on House passage of the legislation containing the spending increases and tax cuts in the economic stimulus package. The measure was developed to deal with what was generally agreed by all parties to be the deepest economic crisis faced by the United States since the Great Depression. The supporters of the measure said it would create and save jobs, help state and local governments, which were experiencing widespread budget shortfalls, prevent deep cuts in health, education, and law enforcement services, reduce taxes for working families and small businesses, and invest in the long-term health of the economy. Among the areas to which spending would be targeted by the measure were infrastructure, housing, alternative energy sources and retrofitting, environmental cleanup, transportation, health services and facilities, nutrition, education and training, law enforcement, and science.

Republicans and Democrats generally agreed that an economic stimulus package was needed. However, most Democrats wanted the bill to be devoted primarily to spending increases, while Republicans wanted the emphasis to be on tax reductions. The liberal-leaning Brookings Institute supported the bill and its emphasis on increased spending as “an insurance policy” to mitigate its severity of the recession. It found the measure “well-designed to stimulate spending quickly, because it focuses on low- and moderate income people.”  House conservatives argued that tax reductions would create far more jobs than spending increases, worked faster, and were more likely to stimulate economic growth. They also pointed to the significant increase in the deficit and resulting federal borrowing that would result from the spending increases, and predicted inflationary consequences. In response to the Republican arguments, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) said that the policies behind the tax reductions which Republicans had been promoting during the debate on the measure represented the kind of “failed policies” that led to the economic crisis.

The vote on the legislation was 244 aye” and 188 nays, primarily along party lines. All 244 aye votes were cast by Democrats; eleven other Democrats joined with all 177 Republicans in voting nay. As a result, the House approved the large economic stimulus package.

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