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National Debt

August Recess Primer

  • August 15, 2010

    Each year, Congress takes a recess from Washington and legislators head home to meet with their constituents. This being a campaign year, your legislators are more likely to be in your neck of the woods pressing the flesh and holding town hall meetings.

    Take this time as an opportunity to find out how your Member of Congress has voted on issues related to spending, taxes, and the national debt. Some key votes from the 111th Congress to consider are:

    • Passage of H.R. 1: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  - the “Stimulus Bill”
      The appropriations section of the bill details spending in excess of $311 billion for programs ranging from Pell grants for college students to clean water in central Utah to nearly $100 billion in new transportation and infrastructure projects, according to analysis by ProPublica.
    • Passage of H.R. 3590: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Bill – the “Healthcare Bill”
      This bill includes 15 new taxes on the American people including: A 40% tax on health insurance plans exceeding determined levels, an increase from 10% to 20% on taxes of money in a health savings account not used for qualified medical expenses, and a 2.5% income tax on those individuals who do not wish to purchase health insurance.
    • House Passage of H.R. 2454: The American Clean Energy and Security Act – “Cap & Trade”
      This bill would lead to increased expenses for American households. A recent Congressional Budget Office report estimated that the cost per household would be at least $175 per year.

    These votes and all others cast by your Members of Congress can be found at: http://thomas.loc.gov/. You must make your voice be heard, so tell your representative how you feel about their votes. If they have voted against these bills, and have worked to safeguard your tax dollars, thank them. If they have voted in favor of these bills, and to add billions to a $14 trillion dollar plus national debt in the process, tell them it is unacceptable.

    To reach your U.S. Senator visit: http://www.senate.gov or call (202) 224-3121

    To reach your U.S. Representative visit: http://www.house.gov/ or call (202) 225-3121

    When contacting your representatives in Congress, be sure to ask when their next town hall meeting will be over this August recess. It’s important that they hear directly from you about reigning in wasteful spending, ending the deficit, and stopping the tax hikes which are killing job growth.


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