Last month, more than 200 former officials from President Barack Obama’s administration signed a letter organized by Invest in America Action urging Congress not to let fake Republican deficit hawks sabotage the recovery efforts like they attempted to do during the Great Recession.

That warning is more relevant now than ever, as Congressional Republicans deploy theatrical delay tactics and bad faith amendments to obstruct the American Rescue Plan — threatening billions of dollars in aid to their own state governments and direct relief for their struggling constituents.

It’s the same playbook they ran in 2009, when their efforts to undermine the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act prolonged the country’s economic recovery.

In 2009, Republican fake deficit hawk obstruction cost the economy nearly a million jobs.

  • When Congress was legislating the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Republicans siphoned away billions from provisions that would’ve spurred job creation.

  • Every dollar for state and local governments generates $1.36 in GDP growth. But Republicans cut $25 billion in state and local aid from the bill — costing 120,000 jobs. 

  • Senate Republicans stripped $26 billion from middle class tax relief provisions.

  • Conservatives cut $30 billion in funds for public school construction that would have supported 250,000 jobs.

  • Republicans spent $70 billion on a tax patch that provided no stimulus at all — an amount that could have created 750,000 jobs if spent elsewhere.

  • Every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.64 in GDP growth. But Republicans continuously blocked the Emergency Unemployment Program — causing more than 2.5 million workers to lose their unemployment insurance benefits for some period of time in the process.

  • Conservatives stripped stimulus provisions out of the HIRE Act — shrinking a proposed $75 billion package to $15 billion in poorly-targeted measures.

  • Republicans filibustered the American Jobs Act, blocking funds that would have rehired teachers and first responders, along with $56 billion in infrastructure projects.

Then, Republican fake deficit hawks pushed drastic spending cuts that prolonged the recovery. 

The Bottom Line: Bad faith deficit fear mongering slowed our recovery from the Great Recession and left our economy weaker when the pandemic hit a decade later. Congressional Republicans must note be allowed to underfund America’s recovery again.