RJC still opposed to stimulus bill


The bill passed on Tuesday by the Senate with three Republican votes didn’t change the Republican Jewish Coalition’s mind about the stimulus package. In an action alert issued early Tuesday evening, the group — the only one in the Jewish community opposing the economic recovery plan — calls itself "a voice for fiscal common sense in the Jewish community — is still urging its members to lobby against the current versions of the legislation. Here’s the alert:

TO: RJC Members
FROM: RJC Legislative Affairs Committee
SUBJECT: Stimulus Update
As the showdown over the controversial $1.2 trillion "stimulus" bill heads toward a possible climax later this week, the Republican Jewish Coalition continues to be a voice for fiscal common sense in the Jewish community.

RJC’s unique role in the communal debate was noted by the JTA news syndicate last week: "Only the Republican Jewish Coalition is openly opposing the bill," wrote JTA.
Last week, we urged you to contact your Senators in opposition to the reckless approach from Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  You responded and your voices, combined with those of neighbors across the nation, rocked Congress.
Today, Senate Democrats passed their version of the bill, setting the stage for a House-Senate conference that will produce a final bill for action — probably by week’s end.   While some facets of the bill may change, there are certain things we can expect:
It will embody Pelosi’s and Reid’s Leave-No-Democrat-Constituency-Group-Behind philosophy — and ignore the "timely, temporary and targeted" criteria previously championed by members of the President’s own economic team.

It will discriminate against Jewish schools and other faith-based learning institutions.  The Senate last week voted down an amendment by Senator Jim DeMint that would have allocated funds for education infrastructure assistance on a non-discriminatory basis.

It will preserve a provision to direct taxpayer dollars to ACORN.  The Senate voted down Senator David Vitter’s amendment to ensure that no federal funds go to the hard-left "social action" group under investigation for voter fraud in at least 14 states.

It will contain consequential policy provisions that have not been carefully reviewed or thoughtfully debated: provisions impacting medical privacy, gutting successful welfare reforms, and putting union privileges ahead of taxpayer accountability.

One improved area pertains to trade.  Provisions that would have triggered a trade war with our allies have been substantially revised to head off that disastrous outcome.
Rising public opposition clearly took President Obama and congressional Democrats by surprise.  They’ve resorted to politics-as-usual tactics with the clear objective of intimidating Republicans into going along.  (Of course, they have the votes on their side of the aisle, but they were counting on Republicans to provide them with political cover since even Vice President Biden admits that there’s "a 30 percent chance" the bill will fail even on its own terms.) 
Biden is on to something; he just needs to adjust the percentage. The Congressional Budget Office – staffed by congressional Democrats’ own hand-picked economists – warns that the current approach will hurt the country over the longer term.
Since every member of Congress will have to take a stand on the final bill, now is the time to contact your Senators and representatives in the U.S. House.  The message:
Reject any conference report that grows permanent government and encourages reckless overspending by states; instead pass a bipartisan bill that is actually "timely, temporary and targeted"

Reject education provisions that discriminate against Jewish schools

Insist that no vote occur until the American people and most members of Congress have a reasonable opportunity to review the contents of the huge bill.

Recommended from JTA