Beware any Republican who might fall for President Barack Obama’s sales pitch Tuesday for his $825 billion economic stimulus plan. A vote for the legislation will disqualify you from receiving the Club for Growth’s “Defender of Economic Freedom” award.
The conservative economic advocacy group issued the warning just hours before Obama was to meet with Republican members of the House of Representatives and the Senate in hopes of drumming up more support for his economic recovery plan.
“No congressman can vote for the stimulus bill and claim to be a defender of economic freedom,” Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said in a statement. “In fact, the Democrats’ package is the antithesis of economic freedom. The bill is a paragon of government run amok, a ballooning deficit, fiscal irresponsibility, and political greed.”
So far congressional Republicans have been cool to the Democratic-backed legislation, arguing it spends too much and gives too little in tax cuts. But with U.S. job losses mounting and consumer confidence crumbling, it may be difficult for many lawmakers to vote against the legislation Obama says is urgently needed to keep the economy from falling deeper into recession.
The Club for Growth keeps a voting scorecard of up to 100 points. Every year its economic freedom trophy goes to those who earn a score of 90 or better. The group advocates conservative economic policies that include making President George W. Bush’s tax cuts permanent, limiting government and cutting spending.