Sunday, February 15, 2009

How Latter-Day Saints (LDS) In Congress Voted On Barack Obama's $787 Billion Stimulus Package, The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Of 2009

Barack Obama's highly-ballyhooed $787 billion stimulus package, known officially as the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009", has been passed and will be signed by President Obama on Tuesday February 17th, 2009. Also visit the ReadTheStimulus website for more information on the bill's particulars.

The House voted 246-183 in favor of the package, with one voting Present and three others not voting. A total of 246 Democrats voted Yes, while all 176 Republicans, joined by seven crossover Demorats, voted No. Afterwards, the Senate voted 60-38 to pass it, with one Senator (Ted Kennedy) not present, and Minnesota's seat still unfilled. Three Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, crossed over to join with the Democrats.

Click HERE to find out how all House members voted.

Click HERE to find out how all Senate members voted.

Because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a legacy of self-reliance, and promotes it to this day through their welfare program, which is actually a workfare program offering a hand up rather than a handout, I though it would be of interest to highlight how LDS members of Congress voted on this bill. And here is the list of LDS members of Congress (10 Republicans, 3 Democrats, 1 non-specified). Click on their names to go directly to their official Congressional websites. Their votes are listed to the right of their names:

(1). U.S. Senate:
-- Michael Crapo (R-ID): No
-- Harry Reid (D-NV): Yes
-- Tom Udall (D-NM): Yes
-- Bob Bennett (R-UT): No
-- Orrin Hatch (R-UT): No

(2). U.S. House:
-- Jeff Flake (R-AZ): No
-- Wally Herger (R-CA): No
-- Howard McKeon (R-CA): No
-- Mike Simpson (R-ID): No
-- Dean Heller (R-NV): No
-- Rob Bishop (R-UT): No
-- Jason Chaffetz (R-UT): No
-- Jim Matheson (D-UT): Yes
-- Eni Faleomavaega (non-voting delegate from American Samoa): Did not vote

As you can see, it was straight down along party lines, with the Republican Mormons voting No and the Democratic Mormons voting Yes.

Utah's freshman Third District Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz was particularly outspoken in his opposition. Chaffetz told KTVX Channel 4 in Salt Lake, "The process was so flawed. This is a bill that was over 1000 pages it was given to us at midnight. There's not one congressman, not one that read that bill. It was the single largest spending bill in the history of the US, and not one person in that House read it. How can you vote for a bill that you haven't even read? I voted no, nobody even read it. It's sad really because you see people hurting and you know we got to help them. But, instead of helping everybody through tax relief this thing is loaded with pork that's not going to make a difference. We need a game changer in this country”. Chaffetz says we cannot spend our way to economic salvation.

However, fellow Utah Congressman Jim Matheson, a Democrat representing the Second District, explained his support of the bill to the Deseret News. "Everyone agrees our economy faces a crisis and that action is needed to pump up the economy. Utah stands to gain 30,000 jobs from the projects that will be funded and families will see more money in their paychecks every week. Doing nothing would be to risk a deep and prolonged downward spiral for Utah communities. And while this bill isn't perfect, I support its main goals", said Matheson.

The LDS Church has not taken a position on the stimulus package.

No comments: