U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today voted against the final House-Senate compromise package, totaling $792 billion, which is intended to be an economic stimulus for the national economy.
?Everyone acknowledges that our national economy is in need of direct, targeted action that will put American workers back to work, retain existing jobs, restore confidence in our markets and give individuals and families more money in their pockets. This bill was intended to be a job-creation bill; it does not succeed in that goal. Furthermore, when the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 11 percent of the legislation?s $311 billion in discretionary spending will be spent by the end of 2009 – and that 53 percent will be spent between 2011 and 2018 – then the bill is neither direct nor targeted. Congress is playing fast and loose with the taxpayers? money rather than taking deliberate and decisive action. For these reasons, I voted against this bill.?
In his opposition to the original House-passed bill, LoBiondo highlighted the short-changing of transportation infrastructure spending, which is proven to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. In the House-Senate compromise presented to Congress today, only 5.9 percent of the bill’s total cost – $47 billion of the $792 billion price-tag – will go to transportation infrastructure projects.
?Make no mistake, this legislation is considerably weaker in its support to New Jersey?s transportation needs than the original House-passed bill. Funding levels have been reduced by billions of dollars, meaning less of our highway, mass transit, airport and rail infrastructure projects will receive attention,? said LoBiondo, the only South Jersey representative on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
The House-Senate compromise also included several provisions that LoBiondo expressed concern about or strictly opposed. Included in the compromise: