President Obama signs ‘stimulus’ bill into law

Published 4:18 pm Monday, February 23, 2009

By By Jo Bonner
While all of us - Republicans and Democrats - can agree that our economy is in turmoil and Congress needs to take action to provide relief, we differ in what this action should be.
I do not believe the trillion dollar “stimulus” spending bill signed into law by President Obama last Tuesday is the answer. This bill is loaded with billions of dollars in projects that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy.
Earlier this year, in the spirit of bipartisanship, President Obama came to the Capitol to hear input from congressional Republicans; sadly, this was more than the bipartisanship shown on behalf of the Democratic majority.
Incredibly, no Republicans were allowed to participate in the crafting of this bill. Republicans were not even allowed in the room when this bill was written; the Democratic majority simply used its majority to ram this massive spending bill through Congress.
My Republican colleagues and I were forced to hear the details of the plan through media reports. In fact, we had less than 24 hours to review the 1,100 page bill before we were expected to vote on the plan - a task I doubt any of us were able to accomplish.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorialized last week, “More than three-quarters of a trillion dollars will be spent largely on who knows what. Few know what’s actually in the 1,000-page-plus bill. That would include most of our ‘representatives’ who voted for this monstrous exercise in command economics — the largest spending bill in the history of the United States — without having the opportunity to read it.”
Now that the spending bill has passed, it is incumbent upon Congress to track this spending and to make sure it is spent in the manner in which it was intended. While this oversight should have been done before the check was written, the American taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent.
Congrats to our Academy Nominees
As I have said many times before, one of my greatest privileges as your congressman is the opportunity to nominate some of the best and brightest young men and women from Alabama’s First District to attend one of our nation’s outstanding service academies.
Gaining admission to one of these schools is not easy; candidates for admission must display significant degrees of academic achievement, leadership in school, church or community activities, be of good moral character, and successfully complete a medical review and physical aptitude examination.
This year, I was privileged to nominate the following 18 students to be considered for appointments to one of our nation’s military academies:
Congressional High School Art Competition Deadline Nears
It is time again for the annual Congressional High School Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery, an art competition sponsored by members of the United States House of Representatives.
This competition provides an opportunity to encourage and recognize the imagination and spirit of talented young artists throughout the nation.
Each spring, I host an art competition for students of Alabama’s First District. Students submit their original artwork, and their entries are evaluated “blind,” meaning no contestant information is provided in advance to the judge.
The winning First District artwork, along with other winning entries from the 50 states, is displayed for one year in the United States Capitol building.
The deadline for entries for this year’s competition is March 5.
For more information, please contact Kristen Morris in my Mobile office at (251) 690-2811 or (800) 288-8721.
My staff and I work for you. If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721 or visit my website at
Jo Bonner is a U.S. congressman. His column appears weekly.

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