Monday, February 16, 2009

Senator Kent Conrad - Where Are You Now Man On Fiscal Responsibility?

Senator Conrad - I had been listening to you. During the years when the Republicans controlled the Congress and the White House you were the guy making the warnings about the excess spending and how the budgets that were being passed didn't add up.

Though there are specific Democrats that I don't like (and I have no problem articulating why) I thought that you were a needed voice of reason, showing how the Republican Party was a thin wall when they got pushed when it came to fiscal responsibility. You played the part of the stereotypical Republican better than they did when they were in control of the "Keys To The Kingdom".

Now, Senator Conrad - your party is in control of all of the purse strings. More than ever we need you to remain consistent. The federal deficit will be $2,000 billion for 2009. If you were sounding the alarm at the $400 billion deficit, surely a $2,000 billion deficit should be having you doing backflips.

Statement from Senator Kent Conrad on Passage of the Economic Recovery Act

Press Release From Kent Conrad
February 10, 2009

Washington – By a vote of 61 - 37 the U.S. Senate today approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Senator Kent Conrad released the following statement after voting in favor of the bill.

“The reality is that we are facing an economic crisis, the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression. Economists of every stripe agree that the best way to kick start our economy is through a combination of spending programs and tax cuts that are targeted, timely and temporary. While this bill is far from perfect, it does take many of the steps necessary to stimulate the economy.

“As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, I have worked with my colleagues — Republicans and Democrats — to cut wasteful spending in this bill and to focus taxpayer dollars where they will do the most good. It is my hope that the final version of the bill will be even better. I don’t want to see one penny wasted as we work to revive our economy.

“As I have said repeatedly, North Dakotans had little to do with getting our nation into this fiscal mess, but now we must all do our part to help lift the economy out of the doldrums. Doing nothing is not an option. We need to act, and we need to act quickly and responsibly. A failure to give a significant boost to this economy will only deepen the crisis, sending millions more Americans to the unemployment lines.”

The Senate and the House of Representatives will now convene a conference committee to resolve the differences in their versions of the legislation.

Conrad Urges Action on Tackling Long-Term Fiscal Challenges

Senator Joins with Former U.S. Comptroller General in Calling for Bipartisan Effort

Washington– Senator Kent Conrad today urged Congress and the Obama Administration to take action to address the nation's growing long-term fiscal challenges. At a press conference in Washington, he joined former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker in calling for the creation of a bipartisan process to confront the looming budget crisis.

“While the immediate focus of Congress’s efforts is on jump starting the economy and putting people back to work, we must be ready to pivot to address the tremendous long term fiscal imbalance confronting our nation,” said Senator Conrad. “The bottom line is that no matter how successful we are in pulling out of the current economic downturn, our long term economic security will remain in jeopardy until we address this problem.”

Senator Conrad commended President Obama for announcing his intention to hold a Fiscal Responsibility Summit later this month to begin addressing the projected explosion in federal debt.

And he expressed hope that the summit would lead to the adoption of a bipartisan process, such as the Bipartisan Fiscal Task Force he has proposed with Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), that would produce legislation to confront the issue.

“President Obama understands the need to act,” said Conrad. “I look forward to participating in his summit in a few weeks and working with him, and with my congressional colleagues, in addressing this critical problem.”

At the press conference, Walker, who is now the President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, unveiled a new Peterson Foundation $1 million-plus advertising campaign to raise public awareness of the nation’s deteriorating long-term fiscal condition. Senator Conrad and Walker were joined at the press conference by Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN), and Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA).

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