Archive for February 7th, 2009
Day By Day by Chris Muir
President Obama and Congressional Democrats have seemingly won a legislative victory
when two or three GOP moderates sold out their party and agreed to PORKULUS or S.1, the Economic Stimulus bill.
The bill in the Senate has been cut from $920 billion to $820 billion but once the Senate passes the bill, it must be reconciled with the House passed version, H.R. 1. And House Democrats are not happy about the Senate cuts.
The GOP has ONLY two or three members (Senators Susan Colins, Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe) who support the bill. Most Republicans are strongly opposed to the compromised bill and ridicule it as too expensive and an ineffective stimulus to the economy.
U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), issued the following statement tonight after the announcement of a compromise on the Senate stimulus bill.
“While I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues to bring down the price tag of this bill, the fact is we still face a trillion dollar spending bill. Making it worse, the bill is 93% spending and only 7% stimulation. Over the past few days I have fought to include more in the way of real stimulus through higher percentage of infrastructure and defense spending, while working to cut much of the typical government waste often found in a bill of this size. Yet Democrats have blocked these efforts.
“The good news tonight is that the American people are catching on to the fact that this is the largest spending bill in history and are becoming more and more vocal in their opposition. My offices in Oklahoma and Washington DC have been flooded with emails, phone calls and faxes overwhelmingly opposed to this trillion dollar legislation. They can rest assured that my vote remains an unwavering â€˜no.'”
There is no guarantee that the GOP Senators will support the conferenced bill, should House Democrats not agree to Senate imposed cuts.
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The $780 billion figure doesn't include the $46.5 billion in amendments added to the stimulus bill this week. According to our numbers, the deal is at least $827 billion, $7 billion MORE than the House passed bill. With debt, that comes to $1.175 trillion total cost for the new deal.
Only in Washington can an increase over the original bill cost be sold as a cut.
This figure includes:
$780 B (for base deal)
$46.5 B (for amendments added during debate)
$348 B (for debt service)
Total equals $1.175 Trillion
To put that in perspective, the total cost of House bill is $1.168 trillion ($820 billion for bill and $348 billion for debt service)
Update from another Senate GOP source:
as you reported, voinivich is out. its now specter, snowe, collins and about a dozen democrats. Feinstein coming out attacking the bill seems to have rattled the Dems and its not clear now whats going to happen, but finishing tonight looks impossible…
Here's the video of Feinstein proclaiming she "reserves the right" to vote against the stimulus, and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' reaction to her comments.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) just said in a radio interview that only two â€œRepublicanâ€ Senators are still actively attempting to provide the Democrats â€œbipartisanâ€ cover for their nearly $1,000,000,000,000.00 borrow-and-spend bill. Based on what Iâ€™ve been hearing from around the Hill, and Roll Callâ€™s report that Sen. Collins (R-ME) was having misgivings about betraying her party and constituents, those two are (definitely) Arlen Specter (PA) and (most likely) Olympia Snowe (ME).
The Senate has killed an alternative economic stimulus plan by Sen. John McCain that would have cut income and payroll taxes but spent far less than President Obamaâ€™s plan.
The party-line 57-40 vote against McCainâ€™s $421 billion plan came Thursday as a group of moderate Democrats and Republicans struggled to cut up to $100 billion from Obamaâ€™s version.
McCainâ€™s plan would have cut the bottom two income tax brackets and lowered corporate income taxes. It also would have extended unemployment benefits and provide money to repair and replace military equipment worn out in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., admonished President Barack Obama Friday for deriding Republicans' characterization of the stimulus plan as a spending bill.
"The whole point, Mr. President, is to enact tax cuts and spending measures that truly stimulate the economy," McCain said at the opening of debate. "There are billions and tens of billions of dollars in this bill which will have no effect within three, four, five, or more years, or ever. Or ever."
Two questions should be asked, McCain said: "How did we get here? And where to we go from here?"
McCain picked up that theme Friday, saying "picking off" a handful of Republicans doesn't signify a bipartisan effort. No Republicans voted for the measure last week when the House passed its version.
"You can call it an agreement," McCain said, "but you cannot call it a bipartisan agreement."
These are extraordinary times, and like a lot of Republicans I believe that a well-crafted stimulus plan is needed to put people back to work. But the Obama spending bill would stimulate the government, not the economy.
We're on an economic tightrope. The package that passed the House is a huge increase in the amount of government borrowing. And we've borrowed so much already that if we add too much more debt, or spend foolishly, we could invite an even bigger crisis.
We could precipitate a worldwide crisis of confidence in America, leading to a run on the dollar or hyperinflation that wipes out family savings and devastates the middle class.
Mitt is right on the issue and is positioning himself for 2012.
Just got off the phone with an influential Republican senator. I asked how things stood with the stimulus, and he answered instantly, "They've cut a deal with three of our guys. They're delaying us from offering amendments. I suspect that as soon as they've got it written, they will offer it as an amendment, vote on it, and that will be it." He didn't have details on what the deal might be, but most Republicans seem to suspect it will involve relatively small cuts â€” and very little change in the price tag of the bill from the House version â€” that will be touted as a major bipartisan compromise. My senator suspects â€” hopes? â€” that no more than four Republicans will vote for the bill.
Primary challenges coming?
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