The Bill that Nobody Read: The Economic Stimulus Package (H.R. 1)

So, I know it’s been a while since Congress passed H.R. 1, the economic stimulus plan, but C-SPAN finally uploaded and categorized all the videos, so better late than never.  I wanted to show you all just how much the Democratic leadership tried to hide the details of the latest stimulus plan:

Here’s the first clip, courtesy of C-SPAN. In this clip, Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA) asks for additional time for debate, so that more than 90 minutes will available for debate. Lewis was not allowed to ask for the additional time (not sure if that’s in the rules of the House or one of the previous resolutions), so he asked Representative David Obey (D-WI) (Appropriations Committee Chairman) to do so, but Obey refused to allow for more debate time. Representative Tom Price (R-GA) then asked if the bill could be read aloud by the clerk, since no member had had time to read it; however, this request was refused because House resolution 168 made it so that the bill was to be considered read (even though it was physically impossible). This violated a previous promise by the Democrats to keep all bills available for 72 hours before a final vote was brought up.

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In this clip, Representative Lewis shows how secretive the drafting of this bill was. Even many Democrats were left out of the negotiations.

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Representative Harold Rogers (R-KY) emphasized that the Democrats refused to allow the House Clerk to read the bill and that debate was limited to 90 minutes. 

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Representative Obey (D-WI) responds to Jack Kingston (R-GA) talking about appropriations to protect a mouse. He said that there’s nowhere in the bill that mentions a mouse. Well, that’s true – the word “mouse” is never in the bill; however, there is money for that’s given to the EPA for a saltwater marsh protection program where the focus of that is to protect a certain species of mouse (according to an EPA representative). So, while what Mr. Obey said was technically true, it would also be true if I said that the bill never talks about “tax cuts.” The phrase “tax cut” or “tax cuts” is never in the bill, but the legal equivalent is. So, Mr. Obey is really just playing with the words here, and he’s ultimately lying through his teeth. But what really makes him look like a fool is when he tells the Republicans to find the section they’re talking about, as he holds up the 1,000+ page bill that even HE didn’t have time to read through.

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In this clip, Representative Zach Wamp (R-TN) has one of my favorite quotes of the debate, “If ever there was a massive bill where the devil is in the details, it is this bill. And there are many devils in the details of this bill.” He also does a good job at placing some of the blame on the Republicans.

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Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) explains the mouse in the bill: “They say there is no mouse in this bill. But there is, sir. What they don’t tell you is that in the EPA projects, it cites for sure and for certain they will spend money on the salt marsh habitat for the mouse in San Francisco. Certainly, the Speaker is getting her cheese.”

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In this clip, Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) shows where the blame lies in saying that people borrowed and spent too much: “Too many of our fellow citizens borrowed too much. They spent too much, and they couldn’t pay it back. And now the mistakes of individuals, the Democrats want to force upon us collectively.” He also explains how the Congressional Budget Office says this bill was a disaster.

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Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) (the youngest House member) talks about how we’re spending trillions at a time and that we can’t afford to get this wrong.

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Representative Lewis shows, again, how unprepared Congress was to even debate the bill: “Mr. Speaker, we just received official scoring of the $792 billion bill at 12:04 p.m. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive this critical information until one-third of our very limited debate time was over.” He later goes on to say, “While portions of the bill were scored by CBO earlier, in the case of the appropriations section, 40 percent of this entire package, the Members have not had the benefit of knowing what effects this bill would have. Now that we have this information, let me tell you what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concedes.” Lewis also shows that the Democrats are simply rushing this through in one big bill instead of going through the proper appropriations channels: CBO estimates that only 11 percent of the money will spend out this year. It begs the question why has the majority decided to include this in this bill rather than through the regular appropriations process? Why have they decided to create 33 new programs and permanently expand 73 programs? By growing the Federal Government now in this bill, the majority knows that they have a much better chance of permanently increasing government.”

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House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) goes over some great points on why he opposed the bill.

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Alright, I hope that opened your eyes to how much the Democratic leadership in Congress tried to keep this bill hidden from the members of Congress before they voted on the bill.  So many of the Democrats in Congress have said that they wish that they would’ve asked more question before supporting the War in Iraq.  I’m guessing that many Democrats will be  saying the same about this bill in a year or 2.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to :: Add to Blinkslist :: Add to diigo :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::


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17 Responses to “The Bill that Nobody Read: The Economic Stimulus Package (H.R. 1)”

  1. Steve Selengut Says:

    The President’s $10,000,000,000,000 Economic Stimulus Package

    For homeowners: Cut the interest rate on all mortgage loans by 50 basis points and extend the payment schedule by three to five years. Convert all variable rate loans to fixed, at prevailing rates, and extend the payment schedule by six to ten years. No fees, points or charges tolerated.

    More for homeowners: Provide a pre-paid $5,000 debit card to all free and clear homeowners. The cards are worth double for Ford or GM car purchases, and expire valueless if not used for retail purchases within 60 days of issue.

    For retirees: Eliminate all income taxation, at all levels, on any formalized retirement income program. Eliminate all income taxation on one half of all non-retirement plan investment income received by retirees. Provide totally free health care coverage.

    For Social Security tax payers below age 35: Reduce mandated contributions to 3% of salary, but allow for additional voluntary contributions. Redirect all contributions to personally owned but “untouchable until age 60” SSRIA contracts with private insurance and annuity companies. Participants would be permanently assigned to qualified providors.

    These fixed-income-investments-only contracts would be non-commisionable, management fee only, and benefit identical at all providors. Trustees responsible for directing the investments of SSRIA funds would have strict QDI (Quality, Diversification, & Income) guidelines, with a focus on all kinds of government securities— federal, state, and local.

    For Social Security tax payers from ages 35 to 55: Reduce mandated contributions as above and redirect to SSRIAs. Deposit one half of each person’s total existing Social Security deposit account to the SSRIAs.

    For Social Security recipients and taxpayers above age 55: Annuitize the income benefit over the next ten years using SSRIAs, starting with the youngest recipients.

    For income tax payers: Over a five-year period, replace the Internal Revenue Code with a 10% tax on all income above $40,000 per year. During the same time frame, bring all state and local income taxes to a total of no more than 5%.

    There are no tax deductions, but those earning less than $40,000 per year would be exempt from sales taxes.

    For governments: Over the same five-year period, institute a 12% Federal Sales Tax on all goods and services consumed or used by individuals. Do the same at the state and local level with a combined cap of 6%. Decrease (thru attrition) the number of federal, state, and local government employees by 30%.

    As surpluses develop, sales taxes on food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education would be cut or eliminated.

    For the financial sector: Abandon mark-to-market accounting rules with regard to mortgage-backed securities until such time as all multi-level mortgage products can be unwound and restructured. Consider a permanent ban of all market value assessment of income purpose, and other illiquid, securities.

    More for the financial sector: Unravel all multi-level derivatives, control blatant and damaging speculation, and protect shareholders from abuse by corporate executives. Adopt a global SIBORAP code, one that is created by securities investors.

    For health care and insurance cost control: Reform the tort law system with an eye to restricting awards at reasonable numbers and to subject all law suits to non-peer, economic-impact, review before allowing them to move forward. All costs of extortionary and frivolous lawsuits must be borne by plaintiff attorneys.

    For corporations: Eliminate all income taxes, fees, and nuisance charges at all levels in exchange for an audited requirement of: more jobs, higher non-management compensation, reduced product prices, or increased health care benefits.

    Also for corporations: Eliminate matching contributions for Social Security over the next five years, starting with the age 35 participants and working higher. Note that all such contributions would have been reduced to 3% already.

    For the self employed: Eliminate matching contributions for Social Security immediately, and refund all such contributions made over the past ten years to any business still in operation.

    For heirs: Repeal the confiscatory death and gift taxes at all government levels and return all the stolen monies to the estates involved for immediate distribution— also retroactive 10 years.

    For investors: All investment income would be treated equally (at flat tax rates), except municipal bond interest would continue to be tax free— but at all jurisdictional levels. All public corporations reporting profits would be required to disburse at least 25% of their profits to shareholders.

    For education: The federal government would support and subsidize (even construct if necessary) fifty, non-sectarian, non-political, four-year, non-research, colleges or universities.

    A total enrollment of between 100,000 and 150,000 students, with 75% tuition coverage, and some form of qualified pool lottery selection system. Management, administration, student selection, and professional staffing would be provided by the private sector.

    For everyone: bring back usury laws with respect to credit card debt.

    Chances are good that this revised package will reduce taxes, increase disposable incomes, grow the economy, eliminate the Social Security mess, increase tax revenues, reduce all budget deficits, provide better health care, reduce insurance costs, encourage home ownership, and reduce the size of government.

    Hmmmm. Maybe the next President.

    Steve Selengut
    Professional Investment Management from 1979
    Author of: “The Brainwashing of the American Investor: The Book that Wall Street Does Not Want YOU to Read”, and “A Millionaire’s Secret Investment Strategy”

  2. Political Blog Weekly: 27 February 2009 | U.S. Common Sense Says:

    […] "The Bill that Nobody Read: The Economic Stimulus Package (H.R. 1)" Originally published:  23 February 2009 Submitted by:  U.S. Common Sense Summary:  Videos and analysis of he floor discussions on the Stimulus Bill. […]

  3. AIG Bonuses Renew Call for Congress to Read Bills | Lux Libertas - Light and Liberty Says:

    […] that nobody read! The stimulus bill contained the details of these bonuses.” (Here’s a video clip of Republicans unsuccessfully trying to have the bill read […]

  4. AIG Bonuses Renew Call for Congress to Read Bills | The Daily WTF Obama! Says:

    […] that nobody read! The stimulus bill contained the details of these bonuses.” (Here’s a video clip of Republicans unsuccessfully trying to have the bill read […]

  5. The Klose Conclave » Blog Archive » 100 Days and Awful in (Almost) 100 Ways Says:

    […] 13.  And then signed a $787 billion “stimulus” bill without providing five days for the public to review the 1100+ page document. […]

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    Interesting post reminds me of another gem. – Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days. – Benjamin Franklin 1706 – 1790

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