Bennet opposes Obama infrastructure spending proposal

Sen. Michael Bennet became the first Democrat Wednesday to oppose President Obama’s new economic stimulus proposal for not using unspent stimulus funds to pay for it. Obama proposed $50 billion in new infrastructure investment at a speech in Milwaukee on Labor Day.

“I will not support additional spending in a second stimulus package. Any new transportation initiatives can be funded through the Recovery Act, which still contains unused funds. Public-private partnerships that improve our infrastructure are a good idea, but must be paid for, should not add a dime to the deficit, and should be covered by unused Recovery Act dollars,” Bennet said in a statement.

Of the $787 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $275 billion has yet to be paid out, according to

President Obama endorsed Sen. Bennet — Bennet ran ads during the primary showing clips of the endorsement — in his bid to maintain his seat. Obama also taped a robocall in support of Bennet. Now, Bennet is running in a tied race against Republican Weld County D.A. Ken Buck, who calls the stimulus “counterproductive” for its “huge new debt.” Bennet appears to be trying to neutralize Buck’s anti-deficit message.

Bennet did agree with the president’s other economic proposals, including making a $100 billion research-and-development tax credit permanent and $200 billion for companies to deduct the full cost of capital investment next year.

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