Economy & Budget

Making Treasury Accountable (Rep. John Boozman)

I recently signed a discharge petition, which is a process to force a bill out of committee and be brought to the House floor for a vote. H.Res. 251 directs the Secretary of the Treasury to transmit to the House of Representatives, no later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of the resolution, copies of any portions of all Department of the Treasury documents, records, and communications referring or relating to any:

·  Negotiation concerning the controlled break-up of the American International Group, Inc. into at least 3 Government-controlled divisions;

The Economy is a Reason to Enact Immigration Reform Now, Not an Excuse for Delay

Although the economy is rightly the top issue presently for voters and policymakers, critical issues such as immigration reform are being negatively impacted by tunnel vision and lack of initiative in Washington. While the White House and Congressional leaders seek to mollify the Latino voters who played such a key role in recent Democratic electoral victories with promises that they will tackle the issue after they “save” the economy, such rhetoric smacks of patronization and belies the essential role that fixing our broken immigration system will have in supporting long-term U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.

In dealing with the economy Washington has focused solely on the current crisis while turning a blind eye to the much larger challenge just around the corner -- the aging of American society. Immigration will be vital to mitigating the effects of this profound demographic shift if our leaders can muster the courage to tackle the thorny issue, and put aside partisan politics and work together to address it.


Build More Autos Overseas: Marginalize More U.S. Families

The economic structure of Jim Henson’s cartoon realm called Fraggle Rock reflects our own. In one HBO episode, the industrious, hard-hatted Doozers prepare to leave the rock, which would have quickly left the Fraggles starving. Somehow, politicians and powerbrokers in this country don’t see the simple parallel. If the U.S. continues to send its manufacturing overseas -- with the latest proposal General Motors plants -- the result will be hungry U.S. families.

I saw this up close and personal as I toured the U.S. last week on the 11-state, 32-city “Keep it Made in America” bus tour. I talked to unemployed manufacturing workers who are desperate. Through no fault of their own, they’ve lost their jobs, their homes, their health care. These are the people who are the strength of America, who in better times volunteered in New York City after 9-11 and in New Orleans after Katrina. Now, they’re forced to get groceries at their union hall’s food bank. They’re humiliated. This economic crisis was inflicted on them by recklessness on Wall Street and in Washington.


Fight Brewing Over IMF Funding

The Senate Appropriations Committee, in response to a request from the Obama Administration, attached a $108 billion increase in funding for the International Monetary Fund to a supplemental wartime spending bill.

This is a surprising and controversial move, and may succeed in avoiding the hearings and debate that would normally accompany such an important appropriation. In order to make this politically feasible, the administration has argued that the true cost of this $108 billion contribution to the IMF is actually zero. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did not accept this argument, but presented a figure that is very low; as this goes to press it is reportedly at $5 billion.


GM to American Workers: Pay for Your Own Execution

The proposition General Motors has presented to the United Auto Workers and American taxpayers in its latest restructuring plan is simple: You must pay for your own execution.

GM, which already took $15.4 billion in bailout money, wants another $11.6 billion and is offering in return this deal: It will close 16 of its American manufacturing plants, terminate 21,000 of its factory workers and double the cars it builds in low-wage Mexico, China and South Korea and ships back to the U.S. to sell.

There it is: GM is demanding that Americans pay to send their own jobs overseas.


Wasting Millions on the Nuclear Waste Fund (Rep. Erik Paulsen)

The Nuclear Waste Fund was established to fund a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.  To date no repository exists, yet Minnesota ratepayers have already contributed over $375 million in fees for this fund.  Nationwide, over $30 billion in fees have been collected.  The bottom line is residents of Minnesota, along with 38 other states, are footing the bill for a service that is not even being provided.

Today, I introduced legislation – the Rebating America’s Deposits Act – that would correct this problem by providing rebates, as well as halting future payments from the Nuclear Waste Fund.  This bill would save Minnesota ratepayers millions on their utility bills.  Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is the author of a companion bill in the Senate.

Rosy Economic Predictions Aren't Going to Help Fix the Economy (Rep. Kevin Brady)

Rosy economic projections by the Obama administration mask the true cost of future deficits and undermine global confidence that America will address its dangerously escalating debt-to-GDP ratio that is raising worldwide concerns about the stability of the dollar.

The Obama Administration has shown great confidence in the success of the stimulus and the President's budget, but that confidence may be misplaced. Unfortunately, trillions of tax dollars are being spent based on overly optimistic economic assumptions that the Administration has failed to update. The Administration continues to project that America's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will decline by 1.2% this year -- less than half the 2.8% decline forecast by the Blue Chip Consensus. The Administration continues to assume that the unemployment rate will be 8.1% this year -- yet the current jobless rate is 8.9%. Unrealistic economic assumptions result in faulty projected deficits. In other words, the debt the Administration and Congress are piling on our children will be much worse that the White House is willing to tell us. 

Turning the Economy Around Will Take Time, But Small Signs the Bottom of Recession Could Be Near (Rep. Dina Titus)

The current economic recession continues to leave millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet.  In my home state of Nevada, we are still facing a foreclosure crisis and record unemployment.  While the challenges before us are great and there will continue to be tough times ahead, there are a few small signs that we may be nearing the bottom of this recession.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the latest job numbers for April.  After losing 699,000 jobs in March, the United States economy lost 539,000 jobs last month.  While the loss of more than half a million jobs is no cause for celebration, the fact that fewer jobs were lost is a move in the right direction.  After eight years of failed economic policies, a recovery will take time.  Our economy will not turn around over night.

Its Time To Find Out What Caused The Economic Meltdown (Rep. Bill Delahunt)

The current economic crisis continues to take a devastating toll on families and businesses across this nation, and the world.

Never before have we witnessed so much economic turmoil.  Within a matter of months, Americans saw much of their life savings and their home equity disappear. Nest eggs evaporated literally overnight. Plans for a college education dashed.  The dream of homeownership turned into a nightmare of foreclosure. 

Valuable Debt and Healthcare Reform

In an interview with The Hill, Sen. Grassley talks about his hope for bipartisan healthcare reform and responds Secretary of State Clinton's role in urging China to finance America's debt.