Congressman Dave Loebsack says there are things he’d like to see in the economic stimulus package that’s on the fast track in Washington. But Loebsack, who is a Democrat, will support the leaner deal House Democratic Leaders struck with Republican President George Bush — a plan that would give most Americans a tax rebate.
"First of all, I really want to commend not only the House leaders but President Bush as well," Loebsack says. "… I think this is really a package that we can be proud of. It doesn’t do everything that I want it to do but I think it’s important that our leaders came together in a bipartisan way and at least crafted a package that will provide a stimulus."
Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they’ll try to add an extension of unemployment benefits, home heating assistance and extra food stamp benefits onto the "stimulus" package. Those are items Loebsack supports, but Loebsack says in an era of "hyper-partisanship" in Washington, he will back the other deal.
"When I was elected…people…were telling me that they wanted to get something done," Loebsack says. "…To me, this is a success story, if you will. We haven’t had very many of those…because the president and congress have been a laggerheads." Loebsack says it is "plausible" to suggest the federal government can’t afford to set aside the money for this stimulus package, even the less-costly version Loebsack supports.
"We are over $9 trillion in debt and much of that to foreign countries and none of us likes that," Loebsack says. "…At the same time there are times, I think, in the history of every country where unfortunately we’re going to have to add a little bit to the national debt for the greater good." The U.S. appears to be headed into a recession, according to Loebsack, and he says it’s time for the federal government to "do something." Loebsack made his comments during taping of the Iowa Public Television program "Iowa Press" which airs tonight.