Statement on Economic Recovery Package

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... beyond anything our country has seen in its 233 years. thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. chairman, i yield one minute to the dwird -- the distinguished majority leader. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the chairman of the appropriations committee for yielding. i want to thank him for the extraordinary work he has done to put this package together. i want to thank mr. lewis for the work he has done as well. even though he may not agree with the product, the final product. i want to start my remarks and i might take a little bit of time, i want to start my remarks talking about bipartisanship. and how we got here and why we're here. over a year ago it appeared to us that the economic program adopted in 2001, 2003 was not working. it also appeared to the administration that it was not working. it appeared to mr. boehner that it was not working. we were in real trouble. that we weren't producing jobs. we had the worst eight years of job production that we have had in any administration since herbert hoover. as a result of the failure to produce jobs, our country was in great distress and our people were challenged and at risk. and so the administration and the democratic leadership of the congress and the republican leadership of the congress sat down at the table together, came up with a program to stimulate the economy. about $160 billion. and we worked together in a bipartisan fashion. it was a republican president but democratic-led congress. in fact agreed to the administration's increase in that program, as you recall, because we had suggested $100 billion. we worked in a bipartisan fashion. then in september, some months later, secretary paulson, a republican secretary of the treasury, came to us and met with the leadership and said we have a crisis. indeed we had invited him down because we thought that there was real troub. said we ve a crisis. we need act. we need to act immediately. democratic-led congress responded to secretary paulson said, we'll work with you. we'll work with you because our country needs a joint response. and we did that. when that legislation came to the floor, very frankly, majority of democrats supported the republican administration's request. the majority of this house did not. we now have a democratic administration, democratic-led congress. . caused by the failure of policies we've been pursuing economically over the last eight years. i do not say that for the purposes of being partisan. i say it for the purposes of us being instructed on what has worked and what has not worked. as you know, we're dealing with one of the worst economic climates in history. 2.6 million jobs lost last year. the worst housing market since the great depression. financial turmoil that has threatened the savings and retirement of millions. that's the context in which this administration is taking office. as we move to confront this crisis, we welcome the criticism of our republican friends and others, but let's put that criticism in some context. again, not for a partisan sense, but for a sense of instruction of the perception of what worked and what did not. i would suggest that, frankly, much of what i've heard from my republican colleagues over the last 20 years in terms of what would work and what would not work is inaccurate. let's republican president bush saying, and i quote, my administration remains focused on economic growth that will create more jobs. let's remember how the minority party reacted to the clinton economic plan in 1993. newt gingrich said of that plan that it would lead to, and i quote, a job-killing recession. the leader of the republican party made that observation. he was dead, flat, 100% wrong. ...