Some Miss. Congressmen Divided on IssuesBy Daniel Cherry | Published 27 Sep 2011 10:34pm |
The U.S. House of Representatives is on a week long recess, and some Mississippi Congressmen are visiting their districts. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports what two congressional leaders are saying about tough issues in Washington.
The U.S. Senate has passed a bare bones continuing resolution that helped the federal government most likely avoid the second threat of shutdown in just two months by approving another short-term spending plan. Mississippi Representative Benny Thompson says it's likely we'll see the same threat in a matter of weeks.
"It's unfortunate that in this instance we were playing "Kick the can down the road" with FEMA payments. When you've had your home devastated by any kind of natural disaster. That's not the time to debate public policy."
Democrats wanted more than 6 billion for FEMA funding. House Republicans agreed on 3.7 billion with one billion coming from cuts to clean energy programs. The Senate finally agreed on only 2.7 billion and kept their clean energy funding intact. Congressman Greg Harper says that billion dollars would be better spent on disaster funds.
"We can do both. We can take care of the victims that need assistance, and we can pay for it at the same time. The Senate has made the decision to come in at a lesser figure because they don't want to have it offset one of their pet projects."
The lingering unemployment rate has politicians searching for answers. The President is pushing his 447 billion American Jobs Act, but Representative Harper doesn't see more spending as the solution.
"Unfortunately, we've seen the White House, this president, engage in class warfare to say, 'We're going to do this jobs bill' Which is nothing more than another stimulus bill, and it's going to be paid for by increasing taxes on who he says are the millionaires and billionaires."
Harper says cuts are the answer but Representative Benny Thompson says he wants the government to do what it has to do during these tough times.
"They have no other plans on the table. You can't continue to "cut taxes" and not invest in this economy."
When Harper and Thompson return to Washington they'll be voting on the continuing resolution passed earlier this week by the Senate. If not approved, although unlikely, the federal government could shut down.
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