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Djou: Opposed to State Bailout Bill

Washington, DC — Congressman Charles K. Djou (HI-01) issued the following statement today announcing his intention to oppose the latest bailout bill to be considered by Congress:

It appears that for every single problem facing our nation, the answer from Congress has been to spend, spend, and spend some more. Notwithstanding all this spending, our economic woes have only worsened. The national unemployment rate continues to hover near double digits and we have lost 2.5 million jobs since the so-called ‘stimulus’ was passed. It’s time to change the priorities in Washington.

Yet hardly a week into the Congress’ month-long summer district work period, the majority in Congress could not resist another opportunity to spend more taxpayer money. While this measure has been deemed ‘emergency spending’ and has been promoted as an ‘education jobs bill,’ the reality is that it is just another taxpayer funded bailout that puts off tough decisions on spending and rewards fiscal irresponsibility.

This legislation affects areas in need of real reform: from our public school system, to the federal Medicaid program to tax policy. But instead of moving us closer to reform, this bill only entrenches the status quo and avoids making any tough, substantive decisions.

This policy is not just misguided and wasteful, it is also fundamentally unfair to the people of Hawaii. The State of Hawaii has a balanced budget amendment and is required to not spend more than the Hawaii taxpayer can afford. Hawaii has made the tough choices required to balance its books but this bill will force Hawaii taxpayers to bail out other states who have made no such efforts.

Ultimately, the solution to our budget woes is real economic growth—more private sector jobs, not more public sector programs.

Background: Of the measure’s total spending, $16.1 billion goes toward 6 additional months of increased Federal matching funds for Medicaid, and $10 billion is to supplement State education budgets. The Congressional Budget Office notes that under Statutory Pay-Go, the bill will increase the deficit by $12.6 billion over 10 years.

Congressman Charles Djou, R-Hawaii, represents Hawaii's second district

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