Jay Inslee on Budget & Economy
Democratic WA Governor; Former Rep/ (WA-1); withdrew from Presidential primary Aug. 2019
Leading state in job growth & personal-income growth
Inslee talks about "the other Washington": the experiment in progressive governance that he's led for the past six years that's cut against the conventional wisdom of economics. On his watch, the state has boosted health care, increased access to
early-childhood education and college, raised the minimum wage, expanded paid family leave, invested in infrastructure, and established in-state net neutrality, all while leading the country in job growth, overall personal-income growth, and GDP.
As other states shed residents, people are moving to Washington. It's hard to drive through the parts of Seattle where Amazon has sprouted neighborhoods of coffee shops and artisanal seafood kitchens and argue that the lefty policies Inslee's been
pushing have had the kind of economic downside that their opponents always warn they will.
Opponents say, "Market forces, consumer demands, commonsense policies would have done about the same thing that we've had under six years of Jay Inslee."
Source: The Atlantic on 2020 presidential hopefuls, "Climate Change"
, Jan 2, 2019
New world economy is emerging from Great Recession
A new world economy is emerging from the depths of this recession. While its contours and relationships are not fully understood to us, we do know two things:
Leading this next wave of growth is our opportunity, not our entitlement.
We must move, swiftly and boldly, to put this recession behind us and bring forward a unique economic strategy that brings the best of Washington state to the world.
Source: 2013 Wash. State of the State Address
, Jan 16, 2013
- With our uniquely powerful fusion of values and talents, Washington state has the potential to lead the next wave of world-changing innovations.
The world will not wait for us. We face fierce and immediate global competition for the jobs of tomorrow.
Voted NO on terminating the Home Affordable mortgage Program.
Congressional Summary: Amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to terminate providing new mortgage modification assistance under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), except with respect to existing obligations on behalf of homeowners already extended an offer to participate in the program.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Biggert, R-IL]: The HAMP Termination Act would put an end to the poster child for failed Federal foreclosure programs. The program has languished for 2 years, hurt hundreds of thousands of homeowners, and must come to an end. This bill would save $1.4 billion over 10 years. To date, the HAMP program has already consumed $840 million of the more than $30 billion of TARP funds that were set aside for the program. For this extraordinary investment, the administration predicted that 3 to 4 million homeowners would receive help.
HAMP has hurt more homeowners than it has helped. The program has completed about 540,000 mortgage modifications. Another 740,000 unlucky homeowners had their modifications cancelled.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
Reference: The HAMP Termination Act;
; vote number 11-HV198
on Mar 29, 2011
[Rep. Capuano, D-MA]: This is a program that I'm the first to admit has not lived up to what our hopes were. This program we had hoped would help several million people. Thus far we've only helped about 550,000 people. But to simply repeal all of these programs is to walk away from individual homeowners, walk away from neighborhoods. I'm not going to defend every single aspect of this program, and I am happy to work with anyone to make it better, to help more people to keep their homes, & keep their families together. To simply walk away without offering an alternative means we don't care; this Congress doesn't care if you lose your home, period. Now, I understand if that makes me a bleeding-heart liberal according to some people, so be it.
Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending.
- $7 billion Increase in Fund balance appropriation (without fiscal year limitation).
- With respect to the Unemployment Trust Fund and to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund: Removes the FY2010 limitation as well as the specific dollar amount for such advances, replacing them with such appropriations as may be necessary.
- Increases from $315 billion to $400 billion the maximum loan principal for FY2009 commitments to guarantee single family loans insured under the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF).
- Increases from $300 billion to $400 billion the limit on new Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae) commitments to issue guarantees under the Mortgage-Backed Securities Loan Guarantee Program.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. LEWIS (D, GA-5): This bipartisan bill will provide the necessary funds to keep important transportation projects operating in States around the country. The Highway
Trust Fund will run out of funding by September. We must act, and we must act now.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. CAMP (R, MI-4): [This interim spending is] needed because the Democrats' economic policy has resulted in record job loss, record deficits, and none of the job creation they promised. Democrats predicted unemployment would top out at 8% if the stimulus passed; instead, it's 9.5% and rising. In Michigan, it's above 15%. The Nation's public debt and unemployment, combined, has risen by a shocking 40% [because of] literally trillions of dollars in additional spending under the Democrats' stimulus, energy, and health plans.
We had a choice when it came to the stimulus last February. We could have chosen a better policy of stimulating private-sector growth creating twice the jobs at half the price. That was the Republican plan. Instead, Democrats insisted on their government focus plan, which has produced no jobs and a mountain of debt.
Reference: Omnibus Appropriations Act Amendment;
Bill H.R. 3357
; vote number 2009-H659
on Jul 29, 2009
Voted YES on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures.
Congressional Summary:Amends federal bankruptcy law to exclude debts secured by the debtor's principal residence that was either sold in foreclosure or surrendered to the creditor.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. PETER WELCH (D, VT-0): Citigroup supports this bill. Why? They're a huge lender. They understand that we have to stabilize home values in order to begin the recovery, and they need a tool to accomplish it. Mortgages that have been sliced and diced into 50 different sections make it impossible even for a mortgage company and a borrower to come together to resolve the problem that they share together.
Sen. DICK DURBIN (D, IL): 8.1 million homes face foreclosure in America today. Last year, I offered this amendment to change the bankruptcy law, and the banking community said: Totally unnecessary. In fact, the estimates were of only 2 million homes in foreclosure last year. America is facing a crisis.
Opponent's argument to vote
Sen. JON KYL (R, AZ): This amendment would allow bankruptcy judges to modify home mortgages by lowering the principal and interest rate on the loan or extending the term of the loan. The concept in the trade is known as cram-down. It would apply to all borrowers who are 60 days or more delinquent. Many experts believe the cram-down provision would result in higher interest rates for all home mortgages. We could end up exacerbating this situation for all the people who would want to refinance or to take out loans in the future.
Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R, MN-6): Of the foundational policies of American exceptionalism, the concepts that have inspired our great Nation are the sanctity of private contracts and upholding the rule of law. This cramdown bill crassly undercuts both of these pillars of American exceptionalism. Why would a lender make a 30-year loan if they fear the powers of the Federal Government will violate the very terms of that loan?
Reference: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act;
; vote number 2009-H104
on Mar 5, 2009
Voted YES on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package.
Congressional Summary:Supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2009.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. DAVID OBEY (D, WI-7): This country is facing what most economists consider to be the most serious and the most dangerous economic situation in our lifetimes. This package today is an $825 billion package that does a variety of things to try to reinflate the economy:
- creating or saving at least 4 million jobs
- rebuilding our basic infrastructure
- providing for job retraining for those workers who need to learn new skills
- moving toward energy independence
- improving our healthcare system so all Americans can have access to quality treatment
- providing tax cuts to lessen the impact of this crisis on America's working families.
argument to vote No:
Rep. JERRY LEWIS (R, CA-51): Most of us would agree that the recent $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is an illustration of how good intentions don't always deliver desired results. When Congress spends too much too quickly, it doesn't think through the details and oversight becomes more difficult. The lesson learned from TARP was this: we cannot manage what we do not measure. We cannot afford to make the same mistake again.
Sen. THAD COCHRAN (R, MS): We are giving the executive branch immense latitude in the disbursement of the spending this bill contains. We are doing so without any documentation of how this spending will stimulate the economy. Normally, this kind of information would be contained in an administration budget. For items that have a short-term stimulative effect, most of us will feel comfortable debating their merits as an emergency measure. But there is a great deal of spending that is not immediately stimulative.
Reference: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;
; vote number 2009-H046
on Jan 28, 2009
Voted YES on monitoring TARP funds to ensure more mortgage relief.
Congressional Summary:Requires specified depository institutions under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to report periodically on their use of TARP assistance. Requires federal banking regulatory agencies to examine annually the use of TARP funds made by the deposit institutions.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. BARNEY FRANK (D, MA-4): Last year, after we responded to the urgent pleas of the Bush administration to authorize the $700 billion deployment of Federal funds to unstick the credit markets, many of us became very unhappy, [because Bush] repudiated commitments to use a significant part of the fund to diminish foreclosures. If we do not pass this bill today, we will make no progress in what is the single biggest economic problem we've been facing, namely, the foreclosure crisis.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. RON PAUL (R, TX-14):
There has been a lot of money spent to try to bail out the financial industry, and nothing seems to be working. I think it's mainly because we haven't admitted that excessive spending can cause financial problems, & excessive debt and inflation can cause problems.
Actually, the recession is therapy for all of the mistakes, but the mistakes come, basically, from a Federal Reserve system that's causing too many people to make mistakes. Interest rates are lower than they should be, so they don't save. That contributes to what we call "moral hazard" as well as the system of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac system. With the assumption that we're all going to be bailed out, people say, "Well, no sweat because, if there is a mistake, the government will come to our rescue." A private FDIC would never permit this massive malinvestment. There would be regulations done in the marketplace, and there would not be this distortion that we've ended up with.
Reference: TARP Reform and Accountability Act;
; vote number 2009-H026
on Jan 21, 2009
Voted YES on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler.
- Requires each automaker to submit a restructuring plan which includes:
- the repayment of all government-provided financing
- the domestic manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles
- restructuring existing debt.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. BARNEY FRANK (D, MA-4): This economy is in the worst shape that it has been in since the Great Depression. This Congress voted 2 months ago to advance $25 billion to the auto industry to promote innovation. This $15 billion is an additional "bridge loan."
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. SPENCER BACHUS (R, AL-6): We all understand that the bankruptcy of either GM or Chrysler would have a cascading effect on other manufacturers. But I cannot support this plan because it spends taxpayer money without any real promise to return the industry to profitability. I see several glaring flaws. We are creating a new car czar to manage these companies from
Washington; not a CEO, but a car czar. Second, this legislation actually imposes new and expensive mandates on our automobile companies. Third, this legislation imposes Federal Government management on the Big Three, the wisdom of Washington. It is clear that the management of these companies have made mistakes, many mistakes, but to set up a command and control Federal bureaucrat is exactly the wrong solution.
Rep. RON PAUL (R, TX-14): The problems that we are facing today date back to 1971. But we don't seem to want to go back and find out how financial bubbles form and why they burst. Instead, we just carry on doing the same old thing and never look back. We spend more money, we run up more debt, we print more money, and we think that is going to solve the problem that was created by spending too much money, running up debt, printing too much money. Today, we are talking about tinkering on the edges without dealing with the big problem.
Reference: Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act;
; vote number 2008-H690
on Dec 10, 2008
Voted YES on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy.
Supplemental appropriations for:
- Infrastructure Investments: Transportation: DOT, FAA, AMTRAK, and FTA
- Clean Water (EPA)
- Flood Control and Water Resources (ACE)
- 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities (ED)
- Energy Development (DOE)
- Extension of Unemployment Compensation and Job Training
- Temporary Increase in Medicaid Matching Rate
- Temporary Increase in Food Assistance
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. DAVID OBEY (D, WI-7): Congress has tried to do a number of things that would alleviate the squeeze on the middle class. Meanwhile, this economy is sagging. Jobs, income, sales, and industrial production have all gone down. We have lost 600,000 jobs. We are trying to provide a major increase in investments to modernize our infrastructure and to provide well-paying construction jobs at the same time.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. JERRY LEWIS (R, CA-41):
Just 2 days ago we were debating an $800 billion continuing resolution. Now in addition to being asked to pay for a bailout for Wall Street, taxpayers are being asked to swallow an additional $60 billion on a laundry list of items I saw for the first time just a few hours ago. The Democratic majority is describing this legislation as a "stimulus package" to help our national economy. But let's not fool ourselves. This is a political document pure and simple. If these priorities are so important, why hasn't this bill gone through the normal legislative process? We should have debated each of the items included in this package.
It doesn't take an economist to tell you that the economy needs our help. But what does this Congress do? It proposes to spend billions more without any offsets in spending. The failure to adhere to PAYGO means that this new spending will be financed through additional borrowing, which will prove a further drag on our struggling economy.
Reference: Job Creation and Unemployment Relief Act;
; vote number 2008-H660
on Sep 26, 2008
Voted YES on defining "energy emergency" on federal gas prices.
- Makes it unlawful, during a period proclaimed by the President as an energy emergency, to sell gasoline at a price that:
- is unconscionably excessive; or
- indicates the seller is taking unfair advantage of the circumstances to increase prices unreasonably.
- Authorizes the President to issue an energy emergency proclamation of up to 30 days, with renewals allowed.Proponents argument for voting YEA: Rep. STUPAK. Vote YES to stand up for consumers who are paying outrageous gas prices at the pump, or vote NO to allow oil companies to go on setting them unchecked. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $4.07. The high cost of energy produces more opportunities to have price gouging and price manipulation. Everyone is shocked to learn that there is no Federal law against gas price gouging. Unscrupulous wholesalers, retailers and refiners operate without the Federal oversight to ensure prices
are fair and justified. A vote against my bill is a vote against consumers and a vote for Big Oil.
Opponents argument for voting NAY: Rep. BARTON of Texas: [My first issue the bill is that by the bill's own definition], we don't have price gouging in the US today. We do have high prices. But the reason we have that price is not because of price gouging at retail. I am not aware of any pending State action on price gouging, and almost every State has State law to go after price gougers.
The second issue with the bill, it requires the declaration of a Presidential energy emergency. The bill doesn't give any definition as to why the President should declare an energy emergency; it doesn't define "unconscionably excessive"; it doesn't define when a "seller is taking unfair advantage."
I know there is a lot of pressure on the Congress doing something. I would state we would be better served to look at the underlying fundamentals that address the supply situation.
Reference: Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act;
Bill H R 6346
; vote number 2008-448
on Jun 24, 2008
Voted YES on revitalizing severely distressed public housing.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2008:
- Makes promoting housing choice among low-income families one of the purposes of the HOPE VI grant program for revitalization of severely distressed public housing.
- Prohibits the award of demolition-only grants
- Specifies requirements for revitalization plans including:
- involvement of public housing residents;
- a program for relocation;
- one-for-one replacement of demolished dwelling units; and
- green developments.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Rep. WATERS: This bill preserves public housing. The administration eliminated the one-for-one replacement requirement in 1996, effectively triggering a national sloughing off of our Nation's public housing inventory. Housing authorities have consistently built back fewer units than they have torn down and, as a result, over 30,000 units have been lost. I urge you to support our
Nation's low-income families and to preserve our housing stock.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Rep. HENSARLING: President Reagan once said that the nearest thing to eternal life on Earth is a Federal program, and I don't think there is any better case study than perhaps the HOPE VI program. If there was ever a program that cried out for termination, it's this one.
This program began in 1992 with a very noble purpose of taking 86,000 units of severely distressed public housing and replacing them, demolishing them. Well, it achieved its mission. But somewhere along the line we had this thing in Washington known as mission creep.
We already have 80-plus Federal housing programs, and the budget for Federal housing programs has almost doubled in the last 10 years, from $15.4 billion to more than $30 billion now. So it's very hard to argue that somehow Federal housing programs have been shortchanged.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Bill passed House, 271-130
Reference: HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act;
; vote number 08-HR3524
on Jan 17, 2008
Voted YES on regulating the subprime mortgage industry.
H.R.3915: To reform consumer mortgage practices and provide accountability for such practices, to establish licensing and registration requirements for residential mortgage originators. Prohibits certain creditor practices with respect to high-cost mortgages, including:
- recommending default on an existing loan in connection with closing of a high-cost mortgage
- steering incentives to mortgage originators
- exercising sole discretion to accelerate indebtedness
- single premium credit insurance and
- negative amortization mortgages.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. FRANK: This legislation seeks to prevent a repetition of events that caused one of the most serious financial crises in recent times. We have a worldwide problem economically, with a terrible shortage of credit. Innovations in the mortgage industry, in themselves good and useful, but conducted in such a completely unregulated manner as to have led to this crisis.
The fundamental principle of the bill is not to put remedies into place, but to stop future problems from occurring in the first place. We have had two groups of mortgage originators: banks subject to the regulation of the bank regulators; and then mortgage loans made by brokers who were subject to no regulation. The secondary market has been on the whole useful but, having been unregulated, has caused some problems.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. HENSARLING: This is a bad bill for homeowners in America. There is no doubt that this Nation faces a great challenge in the subprime market, but this piece of legislation is going to make the situation worse. Clearly, there has to be enforcement against fraud in the subprime market. But what Congress should not do is essentially outlaw the American Dream for many struggling families who may be of low income, who may have checkered credit pasts, for whom a subprime mortgage is the only means to purchase a home.
Reference: Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act;
; vote number 2007-1118
on Nov 15, 2007
Voted YES on restricting bankruptcy rules.
Vote to pass the bill that would require debtors who are able to pay back $10,000 or 25 percent of their debts over five years to file under Chapter 13, rather then seeking to discharge their debts under Chapter 7. Chapter 13, calls for a reorganization of debts under a repayment plan. A Debtor would be restricted, in this bill, to a total exemption of $125,000 in home equity for residences bought within 40 months of a bankruptcy filing. The bill also would establish permanent and retroactive Chapter 12 bankruptcy relief for farmers.
Reference: Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act;
Bill S 1920
; vote number 2004-10
on Jan 28, 2004
Ban abusive credit practices & enhance consumer disclosure.
Inslee signed Credit CARD Act
Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 or the Credit CARD Act of 2009:
Source: S.414 & H.R.627 2009-S414 on Feb 11, 2009
- Tile I: Amends the Truth in Lending Act to require advance notice of any increase in the annual percentage rate of interest (APR) pertaining to a credit card account under an open end consumer credit plan.
- Imposes a freeze on interest rate terms and fees on canceled cards.
- Sets limits on fees and interest charges, including a prohibition against penalties for on-time payments.
- Allows imposition of an over-the-limit fee only once during a billing cycle. Prohibits its imposition in a subsequent billing cycle.
- Requires fees for cardholder agreement violations and currency exchanges to be reasonable.
- Prohibits a creditor from furnishing information to a consumer reporting agency concerning a newly opened credit card account until the credit card has been used or activated by the consumer.
Title II: Enhanced Consumer Disclosures: Requires the creditor to provide a toll-free telephone number at which the consumer may receive information about accessing credit counseling and debt management services.
- Revises requirements relating to late payment deadlines and penalties.
- Requires a periodic statement of account to disclose: (1) the date by which a payment must be postmarked, if paid by mail, in order to avoid the imposition of a late payment fee; and (2) any possible resulting increase in interest rates for late payments.
- Title III: Protection of Young Consumers: Prohibits issuance of a credit card on behalf of a consumer under age 21, unless the consumer has submitted a written application meeting specified requirements.
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