Last Friday, Congress passed the final version of the economic stimulus bill, and as often happens, north central Ohio’s House members split their votes, with U.S. Rep. Marcy Katpur, D-Toledo, voting for the bill and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, voting against it.
Kaptur, whose district includes Erie and Ottawa counties, said she’s particularly pleased that $8 billion in the bill for high speed rail might aid development of a high-speed rail line running from Chicago to Toledo to Sandusky to Cleveland. She said she raised the issue with President Obama a few days ago.
“High speed rail is a good investment in America’s future — especially here in the Great Lakes coastal region,” she said. “Moving forward on this initiative will create good jobs and build the modern infrastructure that will make our region more competitive in future.”
Latta said the bill is filled with expensive spending on programs that have nothing to do with the recession.
“Our economy needs fast and immediate relief, and unfortunately, spending $50 million on the National Endowment for the Arts, $200 million for volunteerism programs or $1 billion for the 2010 Census, do nothing to quickly pull our country out of recession,” he said.
Democrats rushed the massive bill through before anyone had time to figure out what’s in it, Latta said.
“No one had time to read this legislation, which will cost American taxpayers over $1 trillion, in addition to Republicans being shut-out of the Conference Committee process,” Latta said. (The conference committee wrote the final version of the 1,071-page bill.)
Meanwhile, Sherrod Brown has launched a Web site with information about the stimulus bill, while Gov. Ted Strickland also has launched an official state site.
Links for the full text of the bill are here.