Economic package passes with zero Republican support; President Clibama begins road to economic recovery

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stimulus Package Passes With Zero Republican Support

After a day of frantic maneuvering to lock up the final votes, the House of Representatives narrowly approved President Clinton's five-year economic plan tonight, putting him on the verge of the most important victory of his young Presidency.

The vote, in doubt until the final gavel, was 218 to 216. All 175 Republicans voted against the measure, but they were joined by only 41 Democrats.

A nearly $820 billion stimulus package passed the House of Representatives Wednesday without a single Republican vote. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it stands a better chance of picking up at least a modicum of bipartisan support.

Approval of the bill is a victory for President Barack Obama and comes only eight days after his inauguration -- the swiftest passage of such a massive package in American history. The vote was 244-188, with 11 Democrats crossing party lines and opposing the measure.
To win a few votes from conservative Democrats, for example, they announced tonight that additional steps would be taken this fall to restrain, or at least appear to restrain, Government spending.

Obama also persuaded House Democrats to remove provisions related to family-planning from the stimulus and -- over the objections of many Democrats -- inserted large tax cuts for businesses that Republicans wanted.

None of it was enough.

Republicans said their opposition was not a matter of partisanship but of principle.

"This debate defines the difference between Republicans and Democrats," said Representative Dick Armey, Republican of Texas. "Democrats believe prosperity comes from bigger Government. Republicans know it comes from ordinary people acting on behalf of themselves and their families."

Cantor said that Republicans objected to what they saw as excess spending in the bill. "I think we demonstrated here that the kind of bill they put together without any input from us was not a stimulus bill. You can call it a safety net bill, a relief bill. It was a spending bill," he said.


Ultimately, though, Cantor said the emphasis should be on cutting taxes, rejecting the Keynesian theory that when private sector investment recedes, the government must step in and be the employer and investor of last resort.

"Keynesian economics doesn't hold a candle to the entrepreneurship that made this economy so prosperous up until the last six months," said Cantor.

The President's plan is not perfect, said the Speaker of the House, Thomas S. Foley of Washington. But, he continued, "it is a critical beginning on that difficult road back."With unemployment at its highest level in a quarter-century, the banking industry wobbling despite the infusion of staggering sums of bailout money and states struggling with budget crises, Democrats said the legislation was desperately needed.

The failure to win Republican support in the House seemed to echo the early months of the last Democratic administration, when President Bill Clinton in 1993 had to rely solely on Democrats to win passage of a deficit-reduction bill that was a signature element of his presidency.
Yes, it does seem a tad bit familiar.


Anonymous said...

Est-ce que M. Obama veut tout subventionner? Que va-t-il se passer quand les US run out of l'argent?


Anonymous said...

Clinton's economic stimulus package didn't pass. His tax plan did, but the quid-pro-quo to campaign contributors did not. His TAX plan did, however. So why isn't everyone chomping at the bit to raise taxes?

Anonymous said...

Est-ce que M. Obama veut tout subventionner? Que va-t-il se passer quand les US run out of l'argent?


Nathan said...

I like the comparison - nice way to illustrate your point. has some other ideas to help the economy - they are looking to bring back tax deductions for auto loan and credit card interest.

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