WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Commerce Department released data showing that the U.S. economy shank at a rate of 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008, the steepest contraction since 1982:
“Today’s news that our nation had its sharpest economic contraction in over a quarter-century is further confirmation that swift and bold action is needed to get our economy moving again. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed by the House on Wednesday, will put us on that path by creating jobs and providing for long-term investment to keep our economy strong in the future.
“This week, we heard news of tens of thousands more layoffs, a number of unemployment claims unsurpassed in more than four decades of record-keeping, and, most outrageously of all, Wall Street executives awarding themselves $18 billion dollars in bonuses. Millions of Americans are hurting today—and millions more are questioning the greed of an industry that required taxpayer assistance to survive, just months ago. This kind of self-serving behavior is unacceptable, and cannot continue.
“As we work to help families and businesses cope in today’s economy, I hope the Senate passes its economic recovery legislation quickly so Congress can get a final bill on President Obama’s desk before President’s Day.”