Local Politics

Congressmen discuss economic stimulus package

Posted January 13, 2009 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Three Triangle-area congressmen pledged Tuesday to fight for North Carolina's needs as Congress considers a proposed $800 billion national economic stimulus package.

Second District Congressman Bob Etheridge, Fourth District Congressman David Price and 13th District Congressman Brad Miller told members of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce that the economic downturn will make hammering out details of the stimulus package difficult.

"I think the goal is to try to get it to the House and Senate certainly by the end of February and on the president's desk by that time ... to get the money flowing to the states and get people to work and get these projects moving," Etheridge said.

The congressmen said they've been conferring with Gov. Beverly Perdue about what needs to be done at the state level. Perdue plans to travel to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to meet with North Carolina's congressional delegation.

Etheridge also has asked President-elect Barack Obama to include tax credits to fund local school construction in his version of the bill. That should bring $448 million to North Carolina and create or sustain more than 10,000 jobs, he said.

The congressmen said they plan to work to ensure the stimulus package is more transparent than the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry approved last fall. They expressed frustration over not knowing what banks are doing with the money they received.