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Vote Alert

NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on today’s motion to invoke cloture on S. 782, the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011.

June 21, 2011

Not only is the underlying bill a costly reauthorization of a program that acts as little more than a slush fund for legislators’ pet projects, but there are also many worthwhile pending amendments deserving of an up-or-down vote. Both matters merit the Senate’s further attention.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is a well-documented money pit whose attempts at reversing stagnation in “chronically depressed areas” of the country have often done more harm than good. Despite repeated criticism by the Government Accountability Office over the EDA’s claims of job creation and investment returns, S. 782 proposes a $200 million increase to the agency’s operating budget. Although the Administration has stated support for the bill, it has also questioned this level of funding, suggesting that S. 782 could better balance the “need for smart investment” with the “need to control spending and reduce the deficit.” 

These issues alone should justify the Senate's wholesale reconsideration of the bill, rather than a rush to passage. In addition, however, there remain numerous pro-taxpayer amendments worthy of consideration. Among them are amendments by Senator Snowe (R-ME) to require federal agencies to consider the economic impacts of proposed regulations, by Senator DeMint (R-SC) to repeal the onerous Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and by Senator Hutchison (R-TX) to delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Undoubtedly, one of the most important is Senator DeMint’s Amendment 460, which would repeal the federal mandate on ethanol (thus building upon the NTU-backed provision from Senator Coburn (R-OK)) as well as phase out the death tax.

For these reasons, a “NO” vote on the current motion to invoke cloture on S. 782 will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Government Affairs Manager Brandon Greife at (703) 683-5700