Sessions remarks on stimulus package

Published 4:14 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made the following comments today regarding the passage of the economic stimulus package:

“There is broad agreement that a targeted, effective, and fiscally responsible economic recovery package is needed, but the $1.2 trillion bill passed today does not meet any of those characterizations.

“This stimulus bill will be the largest single expenditure in our nation’s history, dwarfing the inflation-adjusted cost of the New Deal. Every penny of the plan will be borrowed, and every penny will have to be repaid, with interest, by future generations. The legislation includes billions in wasteful spending on permanent government programs, which will do little to stimulate the economy. Even if the proposal creates the four million jobs as advertised, it will cost taxpayers nearly $300,000 per job. And although the massive deficit-spending will help the economy in the short-term, economists at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report that enactment of this bill will actually weaken the economy, reducing growth over the next ten years.

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“I’m also disappointed that the majority party systematically blocked consideration of a common-sense amendment to ensure that new jobs created by the stimulus go to American workers. On three separate occasions, the majority blocked a vote on my amendment to require that entities benefiting from the stimulus use the E-Verify system to ensure that job applicants are lawfully in America.

“It is clear that our economy is not performing well, and I agree that government can play a role in restoring economic growth. The simple truth, however, is that the long-term costs of this stimulus plan outweigh its temporary benefits. The bill’s passage marks another step on a disturbing path of Washington-style spending and fiscal irresponsibility and will result in a huge surge in the role of government in the economy. Any objective observer of our nation’s financial health couldn’t help but be gravely concerned about this legislation.”

Sessions opposed final passage of the legislation, which cleared the Senate by a vote of 61-37.