You three "Republican" Senators have voted for this "Socialism for America" Act that is called a "Stimulus Plan".
Specter Comments on Stimulus Vote
Friday, February 13, 2009 -
Senator Specter’s comments:
“The vote on the stimulus package was a very tough vote because of the very large deficit we have and the very large national debt faced by future generations. But the economy is in a desperate situation. Just in the month of January we lost 600,000 jobs, added to the loss of 2.8 million last year. There are millions of people who are having their homes foreclosed. The economists tell us that if we do not act that the current severe recession could well develop into a full-fledged depression like 1929.
“The agreement we reached was the best one we could under the circumstances. We were able to cut out $100 billion from the package and include 35% in tax relief in the overall bill. My preference would have been John McCain’s proposal, which I voted for, to have the stimulus package of $421 billion in tax cuts alone. I voted for the Reagan tax cuts back in 1981 and that would be the best course, but in a legislative body you don’t have exactly your own choice.
“I was impressed with the position of the United States Chamber of Commerce which was for the bill very solidly. The Chamber of Commerce, obviously, is a very conservative, Republican organization which has its hands on the economy and what’s happening to many, many businesses and they were for it. All factors considered, I thought that action had to be taken.
“I voted for it with reservations, as I have commented. One was I didn’t like the speed of the operation. When President Obama came to talk to the Republican Caucus and my turn came for a question I said, ‘Why the haste? Why do you have to move ahead on February 13?’ I reminded him of the bailout package of $700 billion where mistakes were made because the legislature didn’t go through what we call ‘regular order.’ The President responded that there was an emergency and that we had to act. Another factor which concerned me was that there is a good bit in this bill which should be in the regular appropriations process - important healthcare and education projects, but they ought to be in the regular budget where we establish overall spending and then make a determination of priorities.
“My vote was cast recognizing the very substantial political peril that I face. I know that there are many on the Republican political spectrum who do not like the vote. I remember, obviously, the tough primary fight I had in the year 2004. But I felt in the final analysis, given the very severe consequences which might befall the country, that my duty was to look out for the public interest and not my own personal political interest. That is why I voted as I did.”
SNOWE PAVES WAY FOR STRONGER ECONOMY
Votes to Send Fiscal Stimulus Bill to Spur Job Growth & Help Displaced to President’s Desk for Signature
February 13, 2009
Washington, D.C. -
Paving the way for a critical jump-start to the ailing American economy, U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) today voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Conference Report. As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee and longtime centrist policymaker, Senator Snowe served as a key architect in crafting the $789 billion compromise which is more fiscally sound and will create or retain 3.5 million jobs and provide tax relief for 95 percent of hard-working American families.
"Today, Washington sent a strong signal to the American people that this Congress is, indeed, committed to getting our economy back on the road to recovery," said Senator Snowe. "Facing one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history, inaction was not an option. Economists across the ideological spectrum have agreed on one truism – that fiscal stimulus is necessary to provide the positive jolt our economy urgently requires. From the outset, my criteria for including provisions into this package was simply finding items that get this critical job accomplished. Through consensus building, we were able to advance an aggressive fiscal stimulus that will provide an immediate jolt to the troubled economy, spur significant job growth and further help working families, seniors and entrepreneurs weather the economic storm."
Having been tapped by Vice President Biden to solicit views on potential key components for a second stimulus package as far back as last December, Senator Snowe actively worked with congressional leadership and the Administration to craft an economic stimulus package that creates jobs, helps those displaced by the economic downturn and bolsters the flagging economy.
"Throughout this entire process, I’ve called for an economic stimulus package that is timely, targeted and temporary. One that would not only effectively address the urgency of our economic crisis, but have credibility with the American people," Senator Snowe said. "Through a collaborative effort, I am pleased to say that the conference report achieved the critical equilibrium of creating jobs and helping those displaced by this economic crisis through no fault of their own.."
As a senior member on the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Snowe played a leading role in crafting the tax portion of the measure which makes up 61 percent of the entire stimulus package. Spending more than 10 hours marking up the tax portion of the bill,
Senator Snowe authored more than a dozen job-igniting provisions including: small business expensing to provide firms more rapid write-offs for making job-creating investments; the tax-free treatment of unemployment insurance benefits to help jobless workers, and additional funding to expand the New Markets Tax Credit which has a proven track record of boosting economic development and creating jobs in rural areas in Maine and throughout the rest of the country, to name a few.
"By allowing working families to keep more of their hard-earned dollars and providing American employers with the right incentives to grow their businesses, this legislation will restore confidence among Americans in the future of our economy," continued Senator Snowe.
Recognizing the financial strains of the American health care system and its impact on already imperiled economy, Senator Snowe fought for the inclusion of $28 billion for the adoption of Health Information Technology to help bring the health care system from the pen and paper age into the electronic age. This provision will result in $10 billion in savings and create more than 40,000 new jobs across the country. The Senator also secured $87 billion for Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) to ensure states have access to the resources they need to meet Medicaid demands.
"As severe economic conditions cause more Americans to rely on Medicaid, state Medicaid funds are being rapidly depleted," said Senator Snowe, a member of the Health Subcommittee. "Under this provision, Maine is estimated to receive $420 million in additional federal Medicaid assistance, which will go a long way in helping our state to better meet these essential health care needs during challenging economic times."
As the Ranking Member on the Senate Small Business Committee, Senator Snowe championed several small business lending provisions to further assist America’s job generators including: provisions to temporarily reduce or eliminate various lender and borrower fees, bolster funding for the SBA’s microloan program; increase 7(a) and 504 loan sizes; and allow the Small Business Investment Companies to steer more dollars to start-up small businesses. Senator Snowe also worked to: secure compromise bill language to strengthen and expand the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program to better serve American workers, communities, firms and farmers; shield 30 million middle-class families from getting hit with Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT); extend energy tax incentives as well as strengthen and expand the child tax credit, among others.
And Senator Collins hasn't update her website since Feb 6th.