30 January 2009

A reply from Sen. Bill Nelson: Nope, not going to change a thing

Early this week, I wrote to Sen. Bill Nelson (D, FL), one of my two state senators. Sen. Mel Martinez is the other, and I have also written him. I demanded that unless the pork was removed from the stimulus bill, that he vote against it. I didn't actually hold out hope that he would bother, but was particularly disturbed by his reply, which I have pasted below. In essence, the Senator says that he understands that overspending and deficits can be bad, but since this plan (in his estimation) is targeted only on jobs-creation and helping people keep their homes (where he gets that, I have no idea after reading most of the bill), it's not a problem. Much of the letter is pandering drivel, but I'm guessing that this is what many in the Senate are thinking. I'm planning on writing the Senator back to protest being treated like a mindless four-year old, and to reiterate my original objections. I'm not sure what's worse: the drivel from my Senator or the lack of any answer from my Representative. Any thoughts on what to include?


Please do not reply to this e-mail. If you need to send another message to Senator Nelson, please use the form on his Web site: http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm#email

Thank you for contacting me about the economic stimulus package.

The American people are hurting. They are losing their homes, their jobs, their businesses and their life savings. Economists across the political spectrum agree that the government needs to take bold and immediate action to stimulate the economy and curb the risk of a protracted economic recession.

The economic stimulus package will provide critical tax relief, shore up unemployment benefits and food stamps, improve access to health care, and promote energy independence. I believe the stimulus package is narrowly targeted to spend and invest in ways that will get the economy moving again.

I understand your concerns about the stimulus package. Last year I voted against spending $700 billion to bail out Wall Street because the bill lacked meaningful relief for homeowners facing foreclosure and didn't include adequate protections for American taxpayers. I am committed to reducing wasteful spending and improving transparency in Federal funding. For too long have we ignored the consequences of a burgeoning Federal deficit.

As Congress considers measures to put the economy on the right track, I will be sure to keep your views in mind. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

P.S. From time to time, I compile electronic news briefs highlighting key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians. If you'd like to receive these e-briefs, visit my Web site and sign up for them at http://billnelson.senate.gov/news/ebriefs.cfm

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