Stimulus Bill Passes House

President Obama put forth an $819 billion economic stimulus package that passed the House by a vote of 244-188 Wednesday night. No Republicans supported the package, and most votes were along party lines. Inside Indiana Business also notes Indiana Congressman Brad Ellsworth was one of 11 Democrats to cross party lines to oppose the measure, however.

Here’s what legislators from each side are saying:

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) – House Republican Conference Chair
“Our nation is in recession and millions of American families are hurting. Many have lost their jobs, many now worry that they’ll be next and it is absolutely right that this Congress is taking decisive action in the early days of 2009. But the bill that House Democrats have brought to the floor is not about stimulating the economy. The only thing this Democrat bill will stimulate is more government and more debt."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)
"(Republicans) repeatedly are slapping the outreached hand of Democrats who are attempting to work in a bipartisan way. We have given the Republicans every opportunity to have input and help shape this."

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)
"It’s going to provide a lot of new jobs."

The Indianapolis Star article also notes where the money would go in the Hoosier State:

But the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, estimates that Indiana would get more than $11 billion in spending and tax benefits from the House version. That would include:

  • $3.7 billion in tax cuts.

  • $1.4 billion for Medicaid.

  • $1.3 billion in state budget aid.

  • $1.3 billion for elementary, secondary and higher education.

  • $1.3 billion in unemployment benefits.

  • $795 million for roads and other transportation projects.

  • $164 million in water and sewer funds.

While it looks as though the stimulus plan will pass in some form, the Indiana Chamber stresses that the money allocated to states be used properly. It may seem obvious, but funds received from the one-time bill should not be put into programs that will require ongoing funding.