Alabama Congressman Discusses Economic Stimulus

With an economy in trouble, lawmakers in Washington are on the move.

A bipartisan stimulus package--approved by the House--is designed to give taxpayers a chance to help kick start the economy.

"The smartest thing we can do is to deal with the uncertainty by putting about 145 billion dollars into your pockets," said President Bush in a speech Wednesday.

Here in Alabama, any extra money is a welcome sight for taxpayers.  Third District Congressman Mike Rogers told Montgomery County Commissioners the time to act is now.

"I think it's important for the American people to see that the government has been sensitive to what's going on," Rogers explained.

With a proposed $600 to $1,200 rebate in store for 117,000,000 Americans, there's a strong push by House members and the President to get the bill through the Senate as-is.

"The Senate ought to accept the House package, pass it, and get it to my desk as soon as possible," Bush said.

However, the bill did not survive without a few adjustments.  The Senate's Finance Committee approved a reduction in the rebate checks sent to taxpayers, changing the rates up to two hundred dollars ($500 for individuals, $1,000 for couples).

Rogers says the changes will prove difficult in the months to come.

"Most Americans have spent this money in their head.  They've decided what they're going to do with that $1,200 check or $600 check," he explained.

The Senate's version of the bill adds an extra thirteen weeks of unemployment benefits and covers an additional 20,000,000 senior citizens.

Rogers says any unnecessary or "irresponsible" additions to the House's version of the bill could potentially stall--or even eliminate--the rebates for millions of taxpayers.

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke