Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement after his vote in support of the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
“Our nation is in a serious economic crisis. Over the past two months, one million Americans have lost their jobs. Just this week, companies considered some of our nation’s most sturdy and economically sound announced plans to lay-off 55,000 more people. The number of people currently receiving unemployment benefits has reached its highest level since 1982 – approximately 4.6 million people. We need decisive action to confront the growing economic crisis, jumpstart our economy and lay a foundation for sustainable long-term growth.
“The Recovery Package is not a cure-all, but it will provide a jolt to our economy and begin to lay the foundation necessary for long-term sustainable economic growth. It upgrades our current infrastructure – such as roads, bridges, ports and schools – and invests in innovation infrastructure through broadband, health information technology and clean energy. It contains a middle class tax cut to provide families immediate relief and targeted tax cuts to help businesses grow and hire. It will provide a college tuition tax cut to help families pay for college and a homebuyer tax credit to stop home prices from plummeting.
“Earlier this month, I sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and the Appropriations Committee Chairmen demanding that any stimulus package contain strong accountability and transparency measures. I am pleased to see that these requests have been incorporated into the stimulus package, including a dedicated website where citizens can track every penny and hold federal, state, and local officials accountable for their performance.
“With all that said, voting for a stimulus package of this size was still not easy, but it was necessary. I am deeply concerned about our growing deficit, but the threats to our economy are real and doing nothing was simply not an option. We must use this crisis as an opportunity to invest in our country and build a stronger and more prosperous future.”