(by Sen. David Vitter and Rep. Rob Bishop, HumanEvents.com) – The first stimulus has only been out the door for a few weeks and yet, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is already publicly contemplating another massive “stimulus” spending bill. Like us, the American people have to be scratching their heads with utter astonishment as to where the money is coming from and going. Congress has now spent more than one-and-a-half-trillion dollars bailing out the banks, the union-saddled auto industry and the first massive spending bill sold as stimulus. Sooner or later, our grandchildren’s wallets will be empty.
This week we led a group of committed Senate and House members in introducing a bill that we believe will achieve what the Democratic leadership has only sold in advertising – job creation, less burden on the family budget and a real jolt to start the engines of our economy. It is called the “No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009.”
The last “stimulus” was 1,071 pages, cost $787 billion and is already at the receiving end of criticism for its potential effectiveness. Our legislation doesn’t cost a dime and could save or create at least two million jobs.
The No Cost Stimulus can achieve this goal by increasing domestic production of oil and gas and decreasing the regulatory burden on businesses. NCS increases domestic production of outer continental shelf resources, which has shown to be incredibly successful in the Gulf of Mexico. It also opens up a very narrow portion of ANWR for oil and gas production with arguably the most stringent environmental regulations in history, and dedicates a significant portion of the revenue created from this production to renewable energy production so that we can use our traditional energy sources as a bridge to the energy capabilities of the future.
And our stimulus bill would streamline the environmental and judicial review requirements that slow the gears of progress in achieving our energy independence and creating new energy-related jobs. This specific provision was the top suggestion of the Congressional Budget Office in their letter to much ballyhooed “gang of 16” that talked quite a bit about comprehensive energy reform during last summer’s energy crunch but substantively did very little.
The No Cost Stimulus also extends state boundaries so they may have more say in what happens off their coasts. Doing so provides a tool for greater production opportunities in addition to creating new opportunities for individual states to increase their own revenues without asking the federal government to bail them out.
Our bill focuses on helping create American jobs by harnessing an industry that our federal government is currently holding back through regulation and self-imposed overly-rigid environmental burdens and achieves this goal without issuing more foreign debt or raising taxes.
Democrats claim that Republicans have no alternatives to their big-government policies. This couldn’t be further from the truth and this bill is a perfect example. But we need the American people’s help to engage the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader in taking up this legislation. Help us have a real debate on job creation, the economy and energy independence and ask your Congressman and Senator to support the No Cost Stimulus Act.
David Vitter is a United States Senator from Louisiana and a member of the Republican Party. Rob Bishop, a Republican, represents Utah’s 1st Congressional District.
Copyright ©2009 HUMAN EVENTS, Originally published March 16, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted here on March 19, 2009 with permission from Human Events. Visit the website at www.humaneventsonline.com.
1. Who wrote this commentary on the No Cost Stimulus Act?
2. What problem are the writers addressing?
3. What solution have Sen. Vitter and Rep. Bishop presented?
4. What do you think about the writers’ appeal to Americans to ask our representatives to support this bill? Explain your answer.
5. OPTIONAL: Send an email to your Senators and Representative (and/or bill sponsors Sen. Vitter and Rep. Bishop) expressing your opinion – should Congress pass the No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009? Be clear, concise and polite. (Read the text of the bill and explanation of its provisions under “Resources” below.
Watch a video of the press conference on the No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 at youtube.com/watch?v=ll9NHf8LakY.
Read a commentary explaining the details of the No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 at heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm2336.cfm.
Read the entire text of the No Cost Stimulus Act of 2009 at govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1431.