Congressional Republican Leaders Set a Skeptical Table for Monday Stimulus Chat

By Kate Barrett

Jan 2, 2009 4:33pm

In anticipation of their meeting Monday afternoon with President-elect Obama and their Democratic colleagues, the leaders of the House and Senate Republican minorities have issued statements about the stimulus package.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a statement this afternoon said "that every dollar needs to be spent wisely and not wasted in the rush to get it spent. And we believe that his admonition to ‘go through the federal budget — page by page, line by line — eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way,’ should apply to this, potentially the largest spending bill ever considered by the Congress. And we hope that Democrats in Congress don’t attempt to shut the American taxpayer out of this process by trying to pass a bill that hasn’t been the subject of bipartisan review and that hasn’t been available for public inspection."

Said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, "I am concerned by media reports that suggest the Democrats’ emerging proposal may cost taxpayers up to one trillion in new government spending, with little debate or public scrutiny of the still-unseen legislation. Let’s be clear: it is essential that this legislation be debated in a fair, open, and honest way. Congress should have public hearings in the appropriate committees, the text of the measure should be made available online for the American people to review for at least one week, and it should be free from special-interest earmarks. This is the taxpayers’ money, and they deserve to know their hard-earned tax dollars aren’t being wasted."

- jpt

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