Sen. Mel Martinez just detailed his problems with the economic stimulus plan and suggested on the Senate floor that Gov. Charlie Crist -- who backs the measure -- doesn't know the specifics.
"I don't know that my Governor understands all the details this package – that there will be nothing here to help with Florida's housing economy, the number-one problem in Florida's economic troubles that we
have today are related to housing," Martinez said. "And until we address the housing problem, we're not
going to bring Florida back to economic health. At the end of the day, there's not enough largesse that can come to Florida from the federal government to fill the coffers for state needs. What we need is for Florida's economy to get back on its feet. What we need is for there to be tax cuts so that Florida taxpayers have more money to spend into the economy. We need to work on the housing problem so we can get the housing market back vibrant again. We need to work on the overall economy of this country so that tourism comes back to our state. All of these things working in unison will bring America back to
Martinez noted that his "largest disappointment" was that the package "fails to address the problem that got us into this mess in the first place. Now, why did the President and my Governor appear in Fort Myers a couple of days ago? Because that is the foreclosure capital of the world, of America. That is where more houses are being foreclosed than any place else in the state of Florida. I was just speaking with a group of government officials from Charlotte County, just a little north of Fort Myers. 11 percent unemployment, terrible problem with foreclosures."
And he expressed disappointment that he would vote against the measure.
"I hate to oppose this package because I would have loved for us to come to something that truly was a bipartisan package ... It would have been great to have been with our new President, and I do wish him well and I do hope that this package will succeed and I do hope that it will have the desired effect. However, in my conscience, I can't support it because I just don't feel that it does what it should have done, that it does what this economy currently needs, that it does what, in fact, all of us need to work together towards doing which is to get our country back on the road to recovery."