President Barack Obama spent some two hours yesterday meeting with Congressional Republicans about their concerns over his proposed $825 billion economic stimulus bill that is scheduled for a vote by the House this afternoon. By most accounts, Obama wasn't able to win over many Republican converts, who continue to express concerns over whether or not the bill’s hefty spending measures will effectively help pull the country out of recession. Among those expressing concerns was Congressman Charles Boustany, who released this statement following yesterday’s meeting with the President:

“Madam Speaker, both sides agree that our national economy is in trouble as thousands of Americans are without work.  And, I thank the President for meeting with both parties in the House to develop real solutions to the problems we face.
In 2005, my home state of Louisiana faced a different but no less dire situation.  That year, hurricanes Rita and Katrina devastated the Louisiana coastline.  During the recovery effort, we learned many things about what government can and cannot do effectively.
The GO Zone tax credits enabled businesses across the Gulf to rebuild, expand and create good-paying, long-lasting jobs.  As a result, thousands of Louisiana families found the security they desperately needed following those two storms.
A government spending solution was attempted as well.  However, three years later, much of that money is still tied up by government bureaucrats.  Had people in Louisiana waited, they would still be wondering where most of that money was sitting.
The moral of the story is two-fold.  First, there are many different solutions to a problem, and the economic crisis we face certainly proves this.  But second, and most importantly, we must look for solutions which produce results.
We need to spur job creation to get Americans working again. The best way to achieve that job creation is by reducing taxes on small businesses, entrepreneurs and companies who can put people to work now.
I look forward to working with the Administration to accomplish our mutual goal.  Together we can create the jobs Americans need and make our nation competitive again.  This is not the bill to accomplish these goals though. There is another way, and I ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to consider what worked and what didn’t work in Louisiana.”

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