Thursday, February 17, 2011

Republicans seek to defund stimulus
on 2nd anniversary of program

From on Feb. 17:
A coalition of conservative groups and Republican lawmakers led by freshman Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy is celebrating the second anniversary of the passage of President Obama's $814 billion stimulus bill on Thursday by trying to defund what's left of it.

But with Democrats still in control of the Senate and the White House, getting federal money back after it’s been obligated may not be as easy as conservative activists wish.

Duffy, a former MTV reality star, was elected to fill the seat of longtime Democratic Rep. David Obey, the author of the stimulus bill who retired instead of facing what was expected to have been a tough re-election battle. Duffy introduced legislation last Thursday to return the $168 billion unspent portions of the stimulus back to the Treasury. Another $7 billion in uncommitted funds remains unspent.

"What's become clear to Wisconsinites and Americans is that the so-called 'stimulus' has failed," Duffy said in a written statement, noting that the unemployment rate has remained at 9 percent or above for 21 consecutive months despite the administration's sales pitch that the stimulus would prevent the rate from rising above 8 percent.

"Rescinding the remaining stimulus funds and sending it back to the Treasury for deficit reduction would send an important message to the private sector that there has been a fundamental shift in the People's House from pushing big government policies to pro-growth policies that will empower the private sector to innovate and invest," he said.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., introduced a companion bill in the Senate on Thursday.


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