Seeking the Best Stimulus

Cong. Vern Buchanan addresses Manatee County Commissioners
BRADENTON (2009-02-04) -

Governor Charlie Crist has crossed party lines to sign onto President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package. The deal can't come soon enough for Manatee County Commissioners who Tuesday pressed their local congressman on the urgency of the situation.

Congressman Vern Buchanan came before the Manatee County Commission to explain his vote against the original House version of the stimulus plan and to field their concerns.

The Sarasota Republican then offered several reasons why he voted against the US House economic rescue plan.

"Three percent is in transportation construction jobs. I'd like to see it be 40 percent," Buchanan said. He noted that the stimulus package is already undergoing change in the senate.

Commissioners asked Buchanan to guard against the Florida legislature using the stimulus money to fill budget holes. The local officials are worried there will be little left for local projects. Chairwoman Gwendolyn Brown added that Congress needs to act quickly.

"Make no doubt about it we're going to get a stimulus bill," Buchanan said. "It's just a question let's negotiate the best bill we can."

Manatee County has provided Buchanan with a list of "shovel ready" projects from road resurfacing to bridge repair.

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