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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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?