State Capitol News
1:11 am
Thu February 5, 2009

Kyl Weighs Stimulus Package

Phoenix, AZ – The White House is turning up the heat on Republicans --
including the state's two U-S senators -- to support the 900
billion dollar stimulus package.

The administration sent out a memo on Wednesday detailing what
each state would get if the Senate approves the package. That
includes a claim of creating or saving more than 74,000 jobs in
Arizona, a $1,000 tax break for up to 2 million state residents
and making 75,000 families here eligible for a new college tax
credit.

The move comes as the president is having trouble
convincing any Republican senators to support the package, at
least in its current form. Jon Kyl, in a floor speech Wednesday,
said it needs to be refocused on things that actually create jobs
and not on pork-barrel projects like building museums -- even
Arizona museums.

(There's one in Scottsdale, $35 million for Museum of the West. I
guarantee you, that'll be a great museum. But I would hope we
could help the folks in Arizona generate the money for this
museum.)

The memo also says the package would provide additional jobless
benefits to more than 200,000 unemployed Arizonans. Kyl said
while the idea may be good, it doesn't belong here.

(There may be a place for extending unemployment benefits That
probably should be in a separate bill because it clearly is not
'stimulative' even though it helps who are hurting. And I doubt
that there'd be any objection to doing it.)

Unless the president gets at least a couple of Republicans to go
along, the measure can't get out of the Senate.