Congressman Paul Kanjorski introduced legislation today to expand the economic stimulus package to include those Americans on Social Security. Most people on SS would not be included in the present agreement because they do not pay taxes. Kanjo's plan would provide a good economic boost because those on these fixed incomes would likely be more likely to spend their rebates. This is a very good idea if we're resigned to the policy of injecting a short term stimulus through consumer spending.
From the Congressman:
"Today, Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) will introduce an amendment to the economic stimulus package to include cash benefits for those citizens whose only source of income is Social Security. There are approximately 24 million citizens nationwide who are currently excluded from the stimulus package, which was agreed upon by President Bush and House leadership, because they do not receive taxable incomes which are required for the tax rebates.
“I applaud the President, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Minority Leader John Boehner for quickly coming to an agreement to stimulate the economy through legislation which is timely, targeted, and temporary,” said Congressman Kanjorski. “Unfortunately, they overlooked many senior and disabled citizens who continue to feel pressure from the slowing economy and are excluded from the tax rebates. With increasing gas and heating prices, prescription drug costs, and food prices, we cannot afford to leave our senior and disabled citizens out of such a package. I will work with Senators Specter and Casey to include such an amendment to the stimulus legislation, which will provide needed cash benefits for senior and disabled citizens.”
The President and House Democratic and Republican leaders settled on a $147 billion economic stimulus package last week, and the House will vote on this legislation tomorrow. The legislation includes tax rebates for up to $600 per individual and $1,200 per married couple, plus $300 per child. Under the current legislation, only citizens who earned taxable incomes are eligible for rebates. Unfortunately, this means that at least 20,000 seniors in Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District who receive only Social Security checks, but not taxable incomes, will not receive any benefits.
While Congressman Kanjorski will try to introduce an amendment to the economic stimulus bill, he may be prevented from doing so due to procedural restrictions. This could prevent any amendments from being considered in the House. If this is the case, the Congressman will speak on the House floor in support of expanding the current stimulus package to include senior and disabled citizens. He will also work with Senators Specter and Casey to encourage them to offer such an amendment in the Senate."