MURKOWSKI QUESTIONS DIRECTION OF SENATE STIMULUS PLAN
Opposes stimulus bill in Appropriations Committee vote
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today voted against the economic stimulus bill that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“The Republicans on the committee had less than 24 hours to review a massive economic recovery bill, containing $350 billion in spending, before being asked to vote on it,” said Murkowski, a new member of the appropriations panel. “Clearly, that is not enough time to consider such a huge proposal, so I voted against it. Part of my decision was based on lessons learned from the rushed process associated with the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) signed into law late last year. Everyone acknowledges that we are facing deep economic troubles, but we’ve got to ensure that the actions we take actually address the problems. At this point, I believe we are rushing headlong to a solution without enough information to know whether it will work.
Murkowski also expressed concern over changes in the Senate bill compared to the House version. For example, the Senate bill would cut transportation funding for highways and implement a transit funding formula that would strongly favor large cities. The Senate version also would cut the Airport Improvement Program by $2 billion.
“This bill contains a significant amount of money for renewable energy research, but it does not provide any aid for development of traditional sources of energy,” added Murkowski, who is the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I support renewable energy, but in the near term we still need oil and gas and other conventional sources.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to report the stimulus bill to the full Senate by a vote of 21 to 9.