Stimularama: Additional Spending Bill Passes in House

By September 26, 2008Economy, Infrastructure

The House supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 7110, passed this evening, 264-158 (roll call vote).

The White House Statement of Administration Policy on this economic stimulus legislation threatens a veto, using language similar to that of the SAP on the Senate bill (no mention of shale oil in the House, though). Given the general interest in infrastructure at the NAM, let’s cite the SAP’s arguments on those provisions:

Infrastructure. The Administration opposes the additional infrastructure spending in H.R. 7110, including spending on highways, transit, school repair and renovation, and water projects.Funding for these longer term projects should be provided through the normal appropriations process and be subject to appropriate budgetary controls. Infrastructure spending is never an effective means to create rapid stimulus. Infrastructure projects require lengthy time periods to plan and build and would not create a substantial number of jobs in the near future. The billions of dollars of previous year Federal transportation earmarks that are currently unspent is further evidence that Federal transportation spending outside traditional state and local processes is unlikely to produce meaningful benefits. In addition, school renovation and repair have long been a State and local responsibility and an increase in funding these activities simply shifts the responsibility to the Federal government instead of providing meaningful stimulus. 

The counterargument is that there are many, many infrastructure projects ready to go, designed and just needing the funding. The counterargument on schools is probably something along the lines of “It’s for the children.”

In any case, enactment into law of this stimulus bill is not likely.

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