/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As President Barack Obama signs into law the trillion dollar spending package promoted under the guise of economic "stimulus" and rushed through Congress by Friday, February 13th, Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a list of six things you should know about this package and the circumstances under which it passed:
1.) The House of Representatives has broken a commitment to posting the legislation online for no less than 48 hours before a vote.
Only a few hours after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a motion to instruct conferees on H.R. 1 mandating that the conference report be posted online in a searchable and downloadable form for no less than 48 hours before it may be voted on, negotiations began under the cover of night behind closed doors with no representatives of the Congressional minority present. Ultimately, the Democratic House leadership did not make the bill's language available until around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, giving the public a mere 15 hours to scrutinize the bill (mostly overnight hours during which most Members of Congress were no doubt sleeping), of which only 5 hours were working hours. Congressional Record, page H1096.
2.) In signing this bill today, President Obama is violating his own transparency pledge.
Consider his campaign promise: "No more secrecy. ... when there's a bill that ends up on my desk as president, you, the American voter, will have five days to look online and find out what it is before I sign it, so that you know what your government's doing."(1) Manchester, New Hampshire, June 22, 2007 http://tinyurl.com/dl2wog (time: 20:20) Today, the bill will have been posted for only four days - not five.
3.) No Member of Congress voting for the bill confirmed prior to the vote that they had read the bill.
Americans for Tax Reform had asked all Members of Congress intending to vote for the conference report to sign and fax back/email to ATR the following form:
I, _____________________________, commit to the taxpayers of the (___________________ district of the) State of _______________________, that my vote in favor of the conference report on H.R. 1 will be an informed vote, because I will have read the full text of the bill and the conference report by the time I cast my vote.
All Members who voted for the package refused to make this commitment. http://atr.server278.com/even-one-democrat-read-bill-a2887
4.) No Member of Congress voting for the bill confirmed that they were not looking to personally benefit corruptly from the bill with their vote.
Americans for Tax Reform asked all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted in favor of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" and U.S. Senators planning to support the package to commit to their constituents in writing that they will not accept political contributions from any recipient of "stimulus" funds, nor will seek or accept employment with any recipient.
All Members who voted for the package refused to make this commitment. http://atr.server278.com/atr-challenge-pelosi-obama-reid-spending-a2858
5.) In signing the bill, President Obama also breaks his promise to enact net spending cuts
During a discussion about government spending in the second presidential debate on October 7, 2008, Obama said "So we're going to have to make some investments but we've also got to make spending cuts, and what I've proposed -- you'll hear Senator McCain say 'he's proposing a whole bunch of new spending' --but, actually, I'm cutting more than I'm spending. So that it will be a net spending cut."
6.) The "Stimulus" package will undo much of the progress of the 1996 welfare reform.
The package contains language that would essentially abolish the accomplishments of the 1996 welfare reform which drastically reduced welfare rolls and child poverty. Further, it would add large amounts in new welfare spending over the next decade. http://tinyurl.com/dax6xf
Says ATR president Grover Norquist: "President Obama hasn't even been in office for a full month yet - but, aided by the Democratic majority in Congress, he has already managed to break a series of promises in an effort to burden taxpayers with a massive spending package that will do nothing to promote economic growth, but will permanently grow the size of government undo much of the progress made in the mid-1990s in the area of welfare reform. If this first month is a sign of what's to come, then taxpayers will be in for a rough ride."
(1) Conveniently, that pledge was later massaged to only extend to "non-emergency" bills, however even by that standard, the President has already twice violated that commitment with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the S-CHIP reauthorization bill that contained a tax increase (and broke another one of his campaign promises not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000).