Wednesday, January 28, 2009

House passed Obama's stimulus plan

Well, the House of Representatives passed President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan. In one sense, I'm not surprised by the House passage, since the Democrats control the House with a significant majority. What is really interesting is that Obama's stimulus plan passed without a single Republican vote. From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Without a single Republican vote, President Obama won House approval on Thursday for an $819 billion economic recovery plan as Congressional Democrats sought to hold down their own difference over the enormous package of tax cuts and spending.

As a piece of legislation, the two-year package is among the biggest in history, reflecting a broad view in Congress that urgent fiscal help is needed for an economy in crisis, and at a time when the Federal Reserve has already cut interest rates almost to zero.

But the size and substance of an economic stimulus package remain in dispute, as House Republicans blamed Democrats for a package that tilted heavily toward new spending instead of tax cuts

All but 11 Democrats voted for the plan and 177 Republicans voted against it. The 244-188 vote came a day after Mr. Obama traveled to Capitol Hill to seek Republican backing — if not for the package than on future issues.

“This recovery plan will save or create more than three million new jobs over the next few years,” Mr. Obama said in a statement after the vote. “I can also promise that my administration will administer this recovery plan with a level of transparency and accountability never before seen in Washington. Once it is passed, every American will be able to go the Web site recovery.gov and see how and where their money is being spent.”

Of course, it is not surprising at all that the House Republicans voted against this bill. House Minority Leader John Boehner told his GOP colleagues that they should vote against President Obama's stimulus plan in a secret meeting before Obama arrived on Capitol Hill to pitch the stimulus package to the Republicans. The House Republicans have decided that they wanted to play a complete obstructionist game against both the Democrats and President Obama. Their thinking is that if the U.S. economy fails, then the American people will become angry at both the congressional Democrats, and the Obama administration. Such American anger could turn into votes for the GOP in both the 2010 and 2012 elections. In other words, the Republicans were more interested in playing politics, rather than providing policy. I suspect that the GOP will continue this obstructionist game for the next two years, or at least until they can regain political power.

Update: I guess I'm still thinking about this story. This story makes the Republican Party look terrible. President Obama went to Capitol Hill yesterday to make his stimulus pitch to the congressional Republicans. President Obama was willing to compromise on some aspects of the stimulus plan--cutting taxes for small businesses and corporate taxes if the Republicans would close tax loopholes for big businesses. There was probably enough compromise here to allow some Republican support for this package. But the Republicans decided they didn't want to play ball with Obama, even going to the point where Boehner told his GOP colleagues not to vote for this bill before President Obama met with the House Republicans. For the GOP, compromise means rubber-stamp all our demands--even after we were overwhelmingly voted out of power in both Congress and the White House just three months ago. Rubber-stamp all our demands, regardless of whether a majority of Americans support President Obama's economic stimulus package. President Barack Obama made the House Republicans look like completely stupid fools. Obama came to the congressional Republicans, seeking bipartisanship with the stimulus plan. Not only did the congressional Republicans bitch-slap Obama, but not a single Republican voted for the plan. Guess what--that is going to be the big news story for the day! The stimulus plan was going to be passed by a majority of the House Democrats. If there was some token Republican support for the plan, then the Republicans could have claimed some semblance of bipartisanship on this stimulus plan with the Democrats and the Obama administration. However, since Boehner told the House Republicans not to vote for this plan, the GOP now appears to be a party of obstructionism with no intention of allowing bipartisanship in the governing process. In other words, Republicans are not going to play the bipartisanship game. They have shown their true colors to the American people in this huge vote. You do not think that the American people are watching this story, with all the bad economic news and job losses that have been coming out, and are seeing just how whiny, petty, crybabies that Boehner and the House Republicans have become? President Obama and the Democrats were willing to compromise on some smaller aspects of the stimulus bill, not to be rubber-stamped by a minority party's wet dream demands for more Bush-style tax cuts. Publicly, the House Republicans hung themselves with a rope provided by President Obama.

And they don't even realize it.

3 comments:

neonprimetime said...

Barack Obama was not even sworn in with a Bible. http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-203188

Eric A Hopp said...

Hello Neonprimetime:

And thank you for your comment. So what does this mean that Barack Obama was not sworn in with a bible? Does that mean that Obama is not the president? Because according to the U.S. Constitution here, "Before he [The President] enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." It doesn't explicitly say that the president should take the oath on a Bible--he or she could take the oath on a Koran, a Jewish Bible, or even a frickin' telephone book. All the Constitution says is that Barack Obama has to take the oath of office. And he did.

By the way, Barack Obama used the Bible that Abraham Lincoln took the presidential oath in 1861--with Chief Justice John Roberts complete flubbing of the oath.

Eric A Hopp said...

Neonprimetime:

I looked at your IReport, and so Obama was sworn in a second time--and this time with no Bible. Big deal. He is still the President of the United States. How is this more evidence that, because Obama was not sworn in with a bible, Barack Obama is an extreme left wing liberal? Your implied argument makes no sense. If John McCain were standing on the Capitol steps as the president-elect, and Roberts flubbed the oath of office, does this mean that McCain would be less of a president if he had to retake the oath a second time--with or without a Bible? Or if McCain took the oath a second time, with a Bible, then McCain would show just how much of an extremist, religious fanatical conservative that McCain is? There is nothing here.