Republicans plot roadblocks to stimulus plan

Congressional Republicans, seeing bipartisanship as a one-way street that serves their needs, plan to throw up roadblocks to President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plans unless he gives in to their demands.

GOP leaders in both the House and Senate say they will urge their followers to vote "no" unless Obama caves in.

So much for the spirit of bipartisanship.

Reports Sharon Otterman of The New York Times:

Republicans plan to test President Barack Obama’s commitment to bipartisanship as his $825 billion stimulus package heads to the floor of the House of Representatives this week, with the House Republican leader saying Sunday morning that many in his party will vote no unless there are significant changes to the plan.

“Right now, given the concerns that we have over the size of this package and all of the spending in this package, we don’t think it’s going to work,” the House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And so if it’s the plan that I see today, put me down in the no column.”

While the plan can potentially pass the Democratic-dominated House without Republican support, it will continue to face opposition when it comes before the Senate, said Senator John McCain of Arizona, speaking on “Fox News Sunday.” At least two Republicans will need to approve the bill for a filibuster-proof majority vote of 60.

Senator McCain, who lost the presidential election to Mr. Obama in November, said that he planned to vote no unless the bill were changed.

“We need to make tax cuts permanent, and we need to make a commitment that there’ll be no new taxes,” Mr. McCain said. “We need to cut payroll taxes. We need to cut business taxes.”

“We need to have a commitment that after a couple of quarters of G.D.P. growth that we will embark on a path,” he said about the gross domestic product, “to reduce spending to get our budget in balance.”

The Republican objections came as President Obama dispatched his top economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, to the talk shows to defend aspects of the plan that have come under attack. More details about the stimulus package, the largest of its kind in the nation’s history, have become clear this weekend, as Democrats released a more detailed list of the spending.

Speaking on “Meet the Press,” Mr. Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said that the president was attempting to strike a balance between tax cuts and longer-term initiatives in the bill, like spending on renewable energy and college tuition assistance.


  1. AustinRanter

    Time to reinvent the political wheel. 2010 is on its way. Does America have the balls to send out one more message to Congress?

  2. JerryG

    The problem is being able to distinguish financial “stimulus” legislation versus the usual excesses that BOTH parties put forth in routine legislation. An 800+ billion dollar injection of money from who knows where MUST NOT be;

    a) shotgunned into the private sector
    b) accessible to the Fed or any of its sucklings
    c) appropriated by means of historical Federal programs
    d) in the form of a taxpayer rebate

    Obama has to patiently plan and figure out that the money he plans on injecting into the economy is used prudently, wisely, smartly. To me and my simple thinking and ways it’s not realistic to think that Obama, the so-called agent of change, the President I voted for, can realistically expect to release almost a trillion dollars into the hands of the Federal machine (that he has committed to reforming )and expect it to trickle up, down, sideways, in-between, to You, to Me, bearing in mind the way WARP has been abused!

  3. spartacus

    John McCain is now an expert on how to stimulate the economy? When did that happen? When, for that matter, did ANYONE in the Republican party figure out what to do in the case of a recession or depression? Historically, as now, THEY HAVEN’T GOT A CLUE! Watching Boehner on ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday was a joke: not only is he clueless, but shamefully so. David Gregory (I’m still upset that jerk is now the host) let him go on with his merry Republican bs without asking a single real question: when Boehner declared that giving the individual states money for education would NOT stimulate the economy, Gregory, if he is indeed a responsible journalist, would have asked him how restoring money CUT BY STATE GOVERNORS IN THIS RECESSION IS A BAD THING, since the last thing most of them cut was education- once restored, the state could then restore funds they had cut from other budgets, such as transportation, etc. When Boehner went on about the standard Republican mantra of tax cuts, he didn’t challenge him on the trickle down failure of the last 8 years; when Boehner complained about giving tax refunds to impoverished Americans, Gregory sat there and smiled like a jack-o-lantern instead of pointing out that those folks pay medicare taxes, social security taxes, etc, as well, and that poor people end up spending just about every dollar they get, which is therefore pumped back into the economy, and rich people, whom he’s saying need more money by jiggers, don’t, but hang onto it instead. The gibberish coming out of Boehner was laughable, except that it pointed out that this bozo, and those like him, have no desire to work with the President, nor do they care if the American people as a whole suffer because of their actions. It doesn’t matter to him that they’re playing with the lives of real men, women, and children, and their futures. The only thing this toad and his Republithugs care about is regaining power. That was obvious yesterday when the jerk was speaking, and it was equally obvious today. What is amazing is that ANYONE is paying attention to these Republicans who haven’t got one single idea on how to get us out of the mess that they created in the first place.

    It’s too bad the Republican party leaders don’t have to live life like so many Americans do these days: if they had to look at like through the eyes of an ordinary citizen, perhaps they’d remember what it’s like to be human, and care more about people than their heartless political party.

  4. almandine

    ANY attempt to derail the further bankrupting of our country must be viewed as a win. The problem with the Republican position is that it includes voting for further “stimulus” as long as they get part of it.

    What we need is to just say NO to more bailouts, jettison most government spending, balance our National books, ELIMINATE taxes, and let everyday Americans reinstitute a market system based on real, sound money and value received for value given.

  5. BeeJay


    I am embarrassed to admit that I am a registered Republican and have been for many years. However, I know that Republicans can’t lead, I am learning that they won’t follow so why don’t they just get out of the way?

  6. Siannan

    I find it extremely funny that the Republicans are still giving us the same old song and dance that hasn’t worked for the last eight years, and has, in point of fact, gotten us to the position we are currently in now.

    You would think just one of them might say, “hmmm, maybe we should try something different”.

    But if that were to happen, I’d probably die of shock.

  7. colocritic

    Isn’t it interesting that these same “easy spend, easy go for anything Bush wanted” republicans now have actually become very conscious and conservative about where the money goes?

    Boehner and his ilk are just simply pounding their chests and rattling their swords to get attention. Hopefully, they will be pushed to the background by those that understand these things must be done in order to get our nation on it’s feet again.

    Why must it always be politics as usual – why can’t they just buckle down and get something accomplished without the theatrics?

  8. woody188

    Boehner is right about the stimulus not going to work. But he’s wrong about why. He frets about the size, but it’s actually too small a stimulus. It’s only going to give a temporary bounce to the economy because they are not addressing the fundamental problems of housing costing too much and wages paying too little. Couple that with unfair trade and labor practices from most of our favored trading nations including Canada and Mexico, not just China, and you have our current situation.

    No, Obama’s plan will only cause hyperinflation after a small 1-2% increase in growth. After that, without changing the labor and trade practices, we are doomed to an even more painful crash than if we had just let the market run it’s course.

    And yes, Republican’s have become quite the hypocrites when it comes to fiscal responsibility.

  9. douin

    It is shameful that the self-named ‘conservative’ Republicans, have the gall to try to block President Obama’s plan to right the terrible mess that they have put this country and the world in. How can they now have the audacity to criticize the plans that Our duly elected President has put forth. Boehner and his go along-to-get-along fellow travelers are suffering from a bad case of sour grapes that we have gotten wise to their lack of leadership abilities. They should best just get out of the way and make at least some effort to support what our Duly Elected President is doing. If not, they will end up on the ash heap of history as a totally failed Party…and good riddance I say.
    Does McCain not have enough sense left to know he Lost the election..big time, at that. We are fed up with all that pertains to the Republican Party of Big Business and Warmongering. They are the ones that put us in the dire situation we are now in. Do they honestly think that we have any regard for any ‘suggestions’ they have now ? They are only interested in Obstruction, as usual. They have proven that they cannot lead us anywhere but over the proverbial cliff.

  10. buckethead

    It is the same old BS from the Repubs. Lowering taxes only puts $ into the fat cats’ pockets. If the $ spent on this absurd war had been used for our infrastructure instead, then we would have a humming economy. Gov’t spending WILL help our economy and there ain’t no such thing as trickle down. A guy in my shop during the inauguration looked at the crowd and quipped “They are all going to swell the welfare roles in 2 years”. Even if we still had “welfare”, which we don’t, always remember – nobody ever saved a dime of welfare as it all went for rent, food, liquor and drugs. Right back into the economy. Oops, did I just say that?

  11. TruthSeeker

    I think even McCain believes there isn’t much Rep.’s can do to stop the bailout from being approved. On FoxNewsSunday:


    “WALLACE: As it stands now, though, you’d vote against it.

    MCCAIN: Well, look. I mean, I am opposed to most of the provisions in the bill. As it stands now, I would not support it.

    WALLACE: Would you filibuster it?

    MCCAIN: Well, let’s — I mean, I want us all to sit down and negotiate. The Republicans have not been brought in to the degree that we should be into these negotiations and discussions.
    … …
    We all recognize that the economy is in deep and serious trouble. But there’s a Japanese example where they tried to stimulate their economy with the wrong kinds of projects and the wrong kind of spending. It didn’t help their economy.”


    “Japan used another technique, somewhat based on (Paul) Krugman’s, called Quantitative easing.” “…Quantitative easing strategy did not succeed in stopping price deflation.[30] This led some economists, such as Paul Krugman, and some Japanese politicians, to speak of deliberately causing hyperinflation. In July 2006, the zero-rate policy was ended. In 2008, the Japanese Central Bank still has the lowest interest rates in the developed world, deflation has still not been eliminated and the Nikkei 225 has fallen over approximately 50% (between June 2007 and December 2008).”

    Hopefully Krugman can learn from his mistakes but Japan is one of the top exporters now right under the USA.


  12. acf

    The Republicans seem to have forgotten how they played the bipartisan, work with us game when they and Bush were controlling things. They didn’t even let Democrats in on budget meetings to draw up bills, and as for Bush, bipartisan meant ‘I tell and you agree’. Well, there’s a new sheriff in town. Get over it. Their concerns will be heard, but we voters have said, loud and clear, that their way didn’t work and we’re going a different way. McCain, in particular, would do well to remember that when he tries to sell his version of economic plans over Obama’s. The Bush tax cuts die on schedule.

  13. bryan mcclellan

    The chickenshit Democrats are going to get what they asked for.
    They’ve all run into the porta potty they allowed the Republicans to make out of our government and locked the door so they alone may pass out the crap to the American people.

    Nary a one gave any thought to anchoring the shit house to the ground so the opposition couldn’t tip it over. HACK!