New Dems Urge Strong Action on the Economic Recovery Package

February 10, 2009
Press Release

The unemployment rate is on pace to reach double digits by the summer. Banks have lost trillions and can’t lend. Businesses have stopped hiring. The time to act is now.

The New Democrat Coalition, longtime leaders on the economy and innovation, is committed to enacting policies to maintain our competitive edge, meet the challenges posed by globalization, and strengthen our national security. A steadfast commitment to forward-thinking policies on economic growth and innovation initiatives is necessary so that the U.S. remains the most competitive and innovative nation in the world.

The economic recovery package is a step in moving us towards prosperity, putting Americans back to work and getting businesses to grow and hire,” Rep. Ellen Tauscher, chairman of the New Democrat Coalition said. “Our crisis is deep. We’re taking bold and decisive action to get the economy back on track, but too many people are operating as if it is business as usual.”

“The House economic package cuts taxes for middle class Americans, extends unemployment insurance, helps states in danger of having to cut teachers and police officers and other vital services, and invests in our roads and bridges, medical technology and energy independence,” Tauscher added.

“The American people and American businesses are looking to the federal government to lead our nation on the path to economic recovery. It is time to stop splitting hairs. It is time to act,” Congressman Joseph Crowley, New Democrat Coalition Whip, said. “Economists from every corner of the political spectrum have made clear that the worst thing we can do is wait. The New Dems will work hand-in-hand with the leadership in Congress and the Obama Administration to enact the economic recovery bill this week.”

"We're losing a million jobs every two months and we cannot afford to delay," said Congresswoman Melissa Bean (IL-08), New Democrat Coalition Vice-Chair. "I urge my colleagues to work together and act quickly to pass legislation that combines investment in infrastructure and green energy with relief for struggling small businesses and tax cuts for middle-class families to get our economy moving."

“We are suffering through an economic crisis unlike anything most of us have ever seen. Anything less than quick, forceful action is unacceptable. Although differences remain between the House and Senate bills, their goals and sense of urgency remain the same. The House and the Senate have a solemn responsibility to American families and businesses to quickly, but thoughtfully, reach a compromise and send the bill to President Obama to be signed into law,” said Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), a Vice-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition.

The New Dems agree with President Obama that the plan is not perfect, but warned that the cost to American families is too great to delay, or worse, do nothing.
In a letter to House Democratic leaders, New Dems pushed for more investment in broadband infrastructure, focusing comparative effectiveness research on clinical effectiveness and medical outcomes, and an expansion and improvement of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs.

New Dems also warned against provisions that could send a message of protectionism to our trading partners around the world. But with strong action from the Senate today, the leaders say they are confident that the Congress can quickly come to a compromise on a final bill to send to President Obama.