Rep. Coble Votes No on Stimulus
Congressman Howard Coble joined fellow Republicans Wednesday in voting against the $825 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Coble said the total cost of the bill would climb to $1.1 trillion by the time interest payments are added. He said the bill costs too much and doesn't offer sufficient tax breaks to stimulate the nation's failing economy.
However, the Democratic majority in the U.S. House passed the bill on a 244-188 vote with all Republicans and 11 Democrats voting against it. "I oppose the bill because the most effective and efficient means of jump-starting our economy, without wasteful spending, is providing tax incentives to working families and small businesses," Coble said. "There are more than 778,000 small businesses in North Carolina with 500 or fewer employees. These businesses represent more than 98 percent of all of the firms doing business in our state, and they create more than 54 percent of the new jobs in North Carolina. We know tax incentives are effective stimulants, and we also know they will generate revenues that will minimize the cost to taxpayers."
Coble said the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 15 percent of the latest bill's funding will be utilized this year.
"Job cuts have been predicted to continue into the summer, and our working families cannot afford to wait for stimulus years from now," Coble said. "They need it immediately. I don't see how spending $335 million to combat sexually transmitted diseases or $600 million for new cars for government workers will create or protect North Carolina jobs."
Coble said the bill does not offer enough benefit to the 6th District to merit his vote. He estimated that the bill would cost each taxpayer in the district $2,700 and when that figure is multiplied by the more than 680,000 residents of the district, the grand total would be $1.88 billion.
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to begin considering its version of the economic stimulus package Monday.
Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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