(CNSNews.com) – With a tone of sarcasm, a California Republican congressman said that he “knows” why members of the U.S. House of Representatives were summoned from their home districts back to Washington, D.C., and the halls of Congress.
“Many people are asking why Congress is here today,” Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said on Tuesday. “I think the answer’s pretty simple: We’re not bankrupting the country fast enough and so we need to come back and spend more.”
The House, which had adjourned for its August recess, was called back into session by House Democratic leaders to vote on a $26-billion jobs-creation bill, which it approved Tuesday afternoon on a 247-161 vote.
During the week that Congress was not in session, McClintock said his constituents had one message: “Stop the spending.”
“Obviously, Congress isn’t listening,” McClintock said. “Over the past two years, this administration and this Congress have increased spending by nearly 18 percent and run up more debt in two years than the ‘irresponsible’ Bush administration did in all of its eight years combined.”
McClintock pointed out that in the last two years, unemployment has increased from 7.6 to 9.5 percent.
“Yet the problem in the view of House Democrats is that we just haven’t spent enough,” he said. “So we gather here today to shovel another $26 billion at the problem."
Earlier in the day, in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama chided congressional Republicans, like McClintock, for dragging their heels on the state-aid bill -- one that he said was designed to prevent thousands of impending layoffs of teachers and local government workers.
"We can't stand by and do nothing while the pink slips are given to men and women who educate our children or keep our communities safe," Obama said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, called the jobs measure a “fully paid-for jobs bill that reduces the deficit and keeps teachers in the classroom and police officers on the beat.”
McClintock, however, said he chokes on the term “fully paid-for.”
“We’re told, ‘Don’t worry, it’s paid for.’ How’s that? $10 billion is from increasing taxes on businesses with foreign subsidiaries,” McClintock said.
“But remember this: businesses don’t pay business taxes," he said. "Business taxes can only be paid in one of three ways – by us as consumers through higher prices, by us as employees through lower wages, and by us as investors through lower earnings on our 401(k) plans."
A former California state lawmaker, McClintock said the price tag for the bill comes to “about $330 for an average family – taken directly out of the nation’s struggling economy.”