House Conservatives Unveil Alternative Stimulus

Posted January 14, 2009 at 3:52pm

House Democratic leaders hoping for a strong bipartisan vote for their economic stimulus plan will now have to contend with an alternative proposal being floated by conservative Republicans.

Leaders of the Republican Study Committee on Wednesday unveiled their own stimulus bill that leans heavily on tax cuts, tax credits and no new spending as a way to bolster the sinking economy.

“With all due respect to my Democrat colleagues, we will never tax and spend our way back to prosperity,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said of the multibillion-dollar stimulus package being drawn up by Democrats.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday afternoon that she hoped to have a blueprint of a bill ready within 24 hours.

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), a member of the RSC, compared the Democrats’ stimulus plan to socialism, which he said “has never worked in history and it never will.”

The alternative proposal only has two co-sponsors so far. But leaders of the RSC, which has more than 100 Members in a House GOP Conference of 177, are getting ready to shop it around and try to win over Democrats who campaigned on fiscal responsibility.

Additionally, House Republican leaders are praising the proposal, with the Republican Conference Chairman and former RSC head, Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), pledging to sign on.

“The RSC’s bill is what working American families and small businesses need at this time of great economic uncertainty,” Pence said.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the RSC plan includes “the type of common-sense conservative tax cuts and honest fiscal policies that will create jobs and get our economy back on track.”

Cantor is leading a forum Thursday for Republicans to discuss ideas for jump-starting the economy. He vowed to work with President-elect Barack Obama by providing him with GOP input as he crafts the forthcoming stimulus plan.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) seemed to hedge in his support for the RSC bill.

“I look forward to working with all our colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, to come up with the best possible policies to help our economy without burying future generations under a mountain of debt,” Boehner said.