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Rep. Shuler Joins Bipartisan Group to Make Strong Appropriations Bill

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Heath Shuler joined with a bipartisan majority
in the House of Representatives to pass the Omnibus Appropriations bill, HR 1105.
The Omnibus Appropriations bill contains the nine appropriations bills for the 2009
Fiscal Year that were not signed into law last year and is necessary to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2009 Fiscal Year.

"The investments being made through this Omnibus bill are critical to the future of both our nation and our local communities," Rep. Shuler said. "Through this bill we are investing in renewable energy research and development to end our dependence on foreign oil. We are helping small- and medium-sized manufacturers compete globally and keep jobs here. We are supporting local police and sheriffs departments through the COPS program. We are making important investments in our nation’s infrastructure, our National Parks, and so much more."

The Omnibus Appropriations bill also continued to bring additional transparency and
oversight to earmarks, while also reducing the number. Earmarks now represent less than
1% of the entire budget.

"I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring a historic level of honesty, accountability, and transparency to our entire budget process," Shuler continued. "I am hopeful that the entire appropriations process for the upcoming fiscal year can be achieved through regular order and with full sunlight."

Rep. Shuler Statement on Conference Report of Stimulus Package

Friday, February 13th, 2009

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Representative Heath Shuler today released the following
statement after voting against the conference report on H.R. 1, the economic stimulus
package.

"We all agree that action must be taken to stimulate our economy. However, I continue to disagree with the course of action laid out in this bill. Its focus should have been solely on programs that offer an immediate economic impact — like extending unemployment insurance — and investments in our nation’s infrastructure, which have a rate of return of 6 to 1. While this final bill does provide some funding in those areas I am remarkably concerned that only 3.4% of the funding in this package goes toward repairing our country’s highways and bridges. More specifically, across the country there are currently transportation projects totaling $64 billion that could be under contract within 180 days, yet this bill provides only $27.5 billion for those projects."

"In the end, this bill simply contained entirely too much spending in areas that will not provide an immediate stimulative effect to our nation’s economy. With our national debt approaching $11 trillion we should not be borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars without careful and deliberate consideration."

"Additionally, I am remarkably disappointed in House leadership for bringing a bill of this size and magnitude up for a vote without giving members adequate time to review it fully. We must have a greater respect for this institution and for its Members."

Background Shuler introduced legislation in the 110th Congress, H.Res, 484, to require all legislation be posted on the Internet for 48 hours before it is considered on the House floor.