RECENT VOTES

Economic Stimulus

Today the House considered the conference report on H.R. 1: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I voted in favor of this legislation two weeks ago when it passed the House because, while I did not agree with some of its provisions such as an overreliance on tax cuts, I believe the need to stimulate our economy quickly necessitates Congressional action now.

The Senate subsequently took up debate on its own version of the bill and passed legislation that differed from ours in some very significant ways. For example, in order to win bipartisan support — in the form of three Republican votes — the Senate increased the tax cuts by expanding a homebuyer credit and adding a car buyer incentive. At the same time, it cut $39 billion from state fiscal stabilization funding, $20 billion in school modernization and construction, $10.3 billion in COBRA health care for the unemployed, and $3 billion in highway formula funds.

I and many of my colleagues in the House advocated for a conference report on the recovery bill that would add back some of the most vital funding taken out by the Senate. The ultimate product of the conference committee follows through on President Obama's pledge to give a tax cut to 95% of working Americans, and also restores money to many of the programs that will stimulate our economy most. The conference report, while not perfect, will create millions of jobs, and invest in transportation and infrastructure, education, science research, health care, and housing programs.

I remain convinced that swift action is necessary, so I decided to support an imperfect bill that will nonetheless have a deep and immediate impact. I voted YES. The H.R. 1 conference report passed the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

246

7

1

1

REPUBLICAN

0

176

0

2

TOTAL

246

183

1

3

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0