Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 28, 2009

STIMULUS PASSES HOUSE WITH ZERO GOP VOTES.... After all the outreach to House Republicans, all the concessions, all of the reports about the economic crisis, all of the evidence showing the stimulative effects of the plan, not a single GOP lawmaker in the chamber voted for the economic rescue package.

The House voted, 244-188, on Wednesday evening for President Obama's package of federal tax cuts and spending worth $819 billion and meant to jump-start the economy out of its worst crisis in decades.

Although the president's legislative victory was no surprise, given the Democrats' 255-to-178 advantage in the House, the lack of any Republican support was a disappointment for Mr. Obama. The vote came hours after Mr. Obama declared that "we don't have a moment to spare" just after conferring with business leaders at the White House.

If the House Republican caucus, en masse, isn't willing to support a stimulus package in the midst of a global economic crisis, it's hard to imagine when, exactly, GOP lawmakers are going to work with the majority party in a constructive way.

After lengthy debate, Republicans weren't swayed by the evidence, or the polls, or the president. They came into this in united opposition, and with Democrats unwilling to give them more of Bush economic policies, that's the way they stayed.

This isn't exactly a surprise. I suspect the Republican Party looked at this as a pragmatic political test -- if the stimulus plan works, and the economy improves, Obama and Democrats will claim credit and reap the political rewards, whether the GOP supported the proposal or not. If the stimulus plan falls short, and the economic effects are limited, Republicans want to be able to say, "We told you so." Given this dynamic, there really wasn't much of an incentive for the GOP to do the right thing.

Of course, the last time we saw a vote like this one was probably the 1993 vote on Clinton's first budget -- every single Republican in the chamber voted against it, hoping to prove, once and for all, that they were right about economics and Democrats were wrong. If memory serves, that budget was the first step towards the longest economic expansion on record, the creation of 22 million jobs, and the total elimination of the federal budget deficit.

In any case, the stimulus package now goes to the Senate, where passage is likely to overcome Republican obstructionism, and then to House-Senate negotiations, which are likely to be more than a little awkward.

Update: Here's the official roll call, and here's the roll call by congressional district.

Steve Benen 6:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (75)

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Well, let this be a lesson to Obama-- Republicans have no intension of compromising, being constructive, or working with Democrats. Democratic Senators should immediately strip the tax cuts from the bill, especially since everyone knows they are not effective economic stimulants.

Posted by: Taritac on January 28, 2009 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

This presages the lack of cooperation from the Rs on:
Global Warming.
Anything else useful.

What is the point of taking a roll call from that side of the isle?

Posted by: MobiusKlein on January 28, 2009 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

the republicans are gunning for permanent minority status

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 28, 2009 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Roosevelt and the Democrats kept winning elections in the 30s, not because they did such a great job of dealing with the Depression, but because the voters perceived the Republicans as even worse.

The Republicans now are in dnage of being regarded in the same way.

Posted by: Colin on January 28, 2009 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

That should have been:

"The Republicans now are in danger of being regarded in the same way."

Posted by: Colin on January 28, 2009 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Is it too late to add back all the concessions in the compromise bill?

Posted by: Tentakles on January 28, 2009 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Not only are republicans poised to obstruct its passage they also are trying to delay it for as long as possible hoping for more economic collapse in the meantime.

How long can they keep it stalled in the House-Senate negotiations. Remind me again why republicans are even allowed to give input since they won't vote for it even if they get certain changes. The People's Obstructionist Party. (POP).
Go fuck yourself POP. You don't give a shit about this country only your party and political gain.

Posted by: bjobotts on January 28, 2009 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

If memory serves, that budget was the first step towards the longest economic expansion on record

And if my memory serves, Republicans insisted that long economic expansion was because they controlled Congress during most of Clinton's term. If this stimulus works miracles, Republicans will merely say, "that was an absurd amount to spend. The economy was never that bad, and the recession was just a normal cyclical event."

Posted by: Danp on January 28, 2009 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Um, the 1993 comparison gives pause. It worked out pretty damn well for them then....remember election day 1994?

Of course many things are very different now.

Posted by: chaboard on January 28, 2009 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

The Repugnant Ones are certainly predictable.

Posted by: Mark-NC on January 28, 2009 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, let this be a lesson -- a lesson we all should have known for years:

Fuck. The. GOP.

Posted by: Obama Loves the Steelers on January 28, 2009 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK


"Um, the 1993 comparison gives pause. It worked out pretty damn well for them then....remember election day 1994?"

That was because the American RightWing LIED by claiming the Democrats had raised everybody's taxes, when they only raised taxes on the top 1.2% of taxpayers.

The Democrats assumed nobody would believe such a blatant LIE...

Now THERE'S a lesson.

Posted by: Joe Friday on January 28, 2009 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

These Dang Dummy Republicans had put this Country in also most bankrupt since Ex-President Regan and then both Bushes, and voting for the War in Iraq that is over Trillion of dollars, and I love to see at least the Democratics are trying to reach out to the Republicans and really wants to get there imput and all but the whole Republican Party better shape up and get with the program and not trying to spin everything in the bad light because they do not get their way, all they are wasting more money in not working together, I feel and truly believe if the Republicans does not work with the Democratics all the Republications will be out of their elected seats with their High Pay sarlies and all their top of the line heath care.

I like this New President better than any other one before him like any Bush's, and as I hope that son Bush the ex President should be brought up on War Crimes just like any other War Criminal in the past and future.

Bush and the Republicans was mainly in the Bank/Wall Street Bailout force on everyone with no restictions in place then they want to cry about it on other bailouts humm.

Every Elected Official that is local or State or on the Federal level that's been in office over 10 years needs to be elected out of office just like any baby diapers needed to be changed as I feel the same with Elected Officials.

And yes I know what I am talking about because I am and Ex Elected Official myself.

We need in this Country a strong Ethics Policy that cover any Elected Offical on any level of Governemt that is a Crook or other Ethics of conflicts of interest and other white collar crimes should be prosuited to the fully and this Ethics Policy or Law should have serious teeth to it with strong punishments on any Elected Official that is brought up on charges under this policy or Law.

Posted by: Michelle Bruce on January 28, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Is it too late to add back all the concessions...?" Tentakles @ 7:04 PM.
The Senate will probably add/subtract a few things when it comes up for consideration in that chamber. If the Senate does make any changes to the House Bill, there will then be separate Senate and House Bills that will need to be reconciled into a final Bill that will be submitted to each House. Unless changes are made in one House or another (very unlikely), that final Bill will be the one that is enacted into law.
During the negotiations between the Senate and the House is when anything that was removed to attract Republican votes could be reinserted into the Bill. There would be no problem passing the final Bill in the House, since there is a Democratic majority large enough to pass it even with some Blue Dog Democrats voting against it.
There might be problems getting the reconciled Bill passed in the Senate, as I'm not certain enough about Senate rules to say whether the Bill could pass with a simple majority (guaranteed) or require a larger majority (harder).

Posted by: Doug on January 28, 2009 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Hey at least they are still fighting for our Corporate Masters well being.

Posted by: dontcallmefrancis on January 28, 2009 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

In my dream-world scenario, the Senate passes the House version and President Obama signs the legislation by the weekend. The GOP house members don't get a second bite at the apple, lose any additional negotiating leverage that they are expecting and are nakedly exposed as obstructionists for the next two years.

Of course, that depends on Democratic senators not making any changes to the bill. Their egos won't let that happen, but we can dream, can't we.

Posted by: danimal on January 28, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans are now to be ignored. They are, as a group, as deluded and dangerous bunch of miscreants who have ever damaged the planet. Limbaugh is mainstream to them. Hence, ignore them or jail them. Never compromise. Give 'em Hell.

Posted by: Sparko on January 28, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think that the GOP would have been better served getting on board with the stimulus plan. The stimulus was going to happen no matter what, so they might as well support it, grumble about how it wasn't likely to be effective, and bang Obama on it if the economy doesn't improve in two years. I doubt they would have lost points then for opposing it now--after all, opposing the Iraq War in recent years has worked out well for Democrats, despite the fact that most of them voted for it.

The GOP lost out on some good publicity and the appearance of working with the Dems, which would have added to their credibility when arguing against Card Check, for example. Now, Obama looks good and they look bad, and Obama probably won't bother to publicly defer to them again. Oh, well, at least Rush is happy!

The thing is that Mitch McConnell seems to get all this, and he's acting much more sensibly than John Boehner. On to the Senate!


Posted by: Lev on January 28, 2009 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well it also led to the .com bubble but that recession wasn't that bad... until Bush got a hold of it and created the current bubble.

Posted by: MNPundit on January 28, 2009 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

The economy is going to be worse in a year and maybe still really bad in 3 years no matter what is done. Everyone knows it. It doesn't matter what is done, Republicans know this and that's why they'll vote against everything so that they can say "we told you so! We need more tax cuts!" It's like Ken Lay crying that no enough deregulation was the cause of California's energy crisis.

Posted by: grinning cat on January 28, 2009 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

...the republicans are gunning for permanent minority status

Yeah, but one man, with Jesus, is a majority.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 28, 2009 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans got pwned, and they know it:

Final passage of the nearly $820 billion package came on a 244-188 vote with no Republicans supporting the president. This was a far cry from the bipartisan showing Obama had hoped for, but he remains firmly in command and Senate Republicans now concede that the president is likely to prevail there as well, with no reason to fear a protracted filibuster fight.

I have a feeling McConnell and the rest of the Senate Republicans have been getting some ... interesting voicemail and e-mail messages from their constituents.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 28, 2009 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Same Repigs, Different Day. Who would have ever guessed?

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on January 28, 2009 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Huh? What happened to those "moderate Republicans"? There aren't any more? Loombowel told them all what to do and they jumped? Pathetic, weird...

Posted by: Neil B ☺ on January 28, 2009 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh, those senators have high quality arrogance. Money allocated 80% according to the senate formula and 20% according to the house... Red State Welfare at its finest.

Posted by: JeffF on January 28, 2009 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

The impression that I got was that Obama more or less gave them permission to vote No on the house version of the bill with the assumption that they'll get more input the second go around when the bill comes back from the senate.

I bet you'll see a bunch of Republicans changing their vote after getting 'concessions' from the Democrats and Obama.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw Obama actively working with republicans to take down a few egregiously obvious democratic pork barrel projects, etc.

Posted by: john t on January 28, 2009 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Can we make them hold their sessions in a broom closet like they did to John Conyers? And should we turn off the microphones when they say things at proceedings that the Majority doesn't like? And can Biden tell anyone who disagrees with him to Fuck himself as they are discussing an issue in the hallowed Senate chamber? Can we threated to use the nu-cue-lar option to block all filibusters? Can we get in bed with the voting machine manufacturers? Can we, you know, act more like Republicans, since that is what they seem to want anyway?

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on January 28, 2009 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Can we suggest Pelosi try another vote, this time without any of the things they stripped for GOP votes they didn't receive?

Posted by: Crissa on January 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

all of the evidence showing the stimulative effects of the plan

Yeh, right. There were claims, even learned arguments from liberal economists, but no evidence.

Anyway, in Nov 2010 the Republicans and Democrats can debate, in all the congressional districts in the U.S., whether the stimulus worked, and whether the people who voted for it should be rewarded.

This bill was written at the "Skillings School of Accountancy": you take $850B (or whatever the real figure is) from your right pocket, and put it into your left pocket, and call it a "stimulus". After spending from your left pocket, you recover $400B or so in benefits, and claim that you actually have $1250B -- because you are hoping that no one has noticed that the right pocket is now empty. Democrats have called this "Reaganomics" when they didn't like it. George Herbert Walker Bush called it "voodoo economics", and he was right.

Private investors will buy T-bills instead of investing, so the net gain over doing nothing will at most be 0; it could be worse if new federal officials are hired.

Posted by: marketeer on January 28, 2009 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Bi-partisanship will not happen overnight, and probably not at all given the idiots who call themselves Republicans. Obama may have patience with them a while longer, but likely he will have to ignore them much as Bush ignored everyone who opposed him. Another election cycle or two of losses might eventually clean out this nasty bunch of know-nothings, but until then we have to put up with more of this self-defeating, destructive, bullshit.

Posted by: rich on January 28, 2009 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

good, now Obama can veto it and reformulate it without republican tax cuts or other enticements to a bunch of out of touch, anti-American slugs, and put in a lot more infrastructure. I hope, I hope Obama learns the foolishness, uselessness, and counter-productiveness of his republican outreach nonsense.

Posted by: pluege on January 28, 2009 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

I was thinking the same snark


The House has passed the stimulus bill with not a single Republican vote.
Aren’t you glad that Obama watered it down and added ineffective tax cuts, so as to win bipartisan support?

Posted by: koreyel on January 28, 2009 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats have called this "Reaganomics" when they didn't like it. George Herbert Walker Bush called it "voodoo economics", and he was right.

Uh, no. "Reaganomics" and "voodoo economics" both refer to the Republican conviction that cutting taxes magically grows the economy. Also known as the Laffer Curve or "trickle-down."

We're actually trying something different than what Reagan did by putting the money into projects instead of tax cuts for the rich. We've had 30 years of trying Reagan's way -- time to try something different.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 28, 2009 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, those Republicans. They were sent very obvious messages in '06 and '08 in losing those elections.

Now the country's on fire - thousands and thousands of jobs lost and they adhere to the same game: placate the base and obstruct. They're on their way to becoming the Detroit Lions of politics. And winning is sooooo important to them, the only thing that matters and the greater good be damned.

Time to fire Coach Limbaugh?


Posted by: PS on January 28, 2009 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

I listened to a lot of the debate while making bread today. The constant refrain from the Repugnants (since they have decided that the name of our party is Democrat, why can't we name their party what we like?) was that our grandchildren will be paying for all this spending on top of the 10 trillion debt we already have. I wish the Democrats would remind them every time that THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF THIS DEBT AND IT WAS FINE FOR TAX CUTS, BUT SOMEHOW EVIL FOR GIVING JOBS TO PEOPLE MAKING LESS THAN 100,000 A YEAR.

Posted by: carolanne on January 28, 2009 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

If memory serves, that budget was the first step towards the longest economic expansion on record, the creation of 22 million jobs, and the total elimination of the federal budget deficit.

The economy was already expanding when the election was held. The best thing about that tax increase was that it was quite small, and passed at the beginning of growth. According to "counter-cyclical" thinking, there ought to have been a small symmetric tax cut when the economic growth slowed in 2000.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 28, 2009 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand how nobody in the mainstream media calls the R's on there BS but theres so many loud mouth R's trash talking and flat out lying about Dem.'s. Dem.'s sit back and don't even really defend themselves.

Posted by: just austin on January 28, 2009 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

You Democrats push and push for change and bipartisan compromise, yet all you can think to do in light of your victory is point figers and continue to put down the Republican party like the fat kid who finally got picked to play on the winning team becuase one of his own is now in the driver's seat. Why don't you practice what you preach and focus on the greater good instead of worrying about who is winning at kickball.

Posted by: Christina on January 28, 2009 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Better stupidity than that other inanity, bipartisanship. With a degraded, dishonest political discourse, democracy is not merely an absurdity, but is barely breathing.

Posted by: wmmbb on January 28, 2009 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

~~~I suspect the Republican Party looked at this as a pragmatic political test -- if the stimulus plan works, and the economy improves, Obama and Democrats will claim credit and reap the political rewards, whether the GOP supported the proposal or not. If the stimulus plan falls short, and the economic effects are limited, Republicans want to be able to say, "We told you so." Given this dynamic, there really wasn't much of an incentive for the GOP to do the right thing.~~~

While I don't doubt this could be true, I also find it to be incredibly short-sighted. If we've truly gone past a nation of shock-and-awe and into a nation of hope-and-change, where bipartisanship is no longer a 4-letter word, a Republican politician could easily score points during a re-election campaign were he or she able to say "I voted with Obama on issues X, Y and Z." Either way, it's a crap shoot - they voted against the stimulus, they can hope the stimulus fails and then they look vindicated. Likewise, they could have voted for the stimulus, only to see it fail and then come across not only as part of the epic failure, but as traitors to the party.

But now, they come across a tremendous doo schnozzles. Not only must they now hope the stimulus fails, they're possibly/probably going to do whatever they can to impede the implementation in the first place. Obstructionism is hard work, and when you're obstructing something a clear majority of the people want, it can be EXHAUSTING.

I suppose the other thing to consider is that the Reps think they know their districts. If they represent diehard conservative districts, their jobs will probably be safer if they vote against the stimulus. Maybe they'll always vote red for the House no matter how popular Obama gets. But how sure are they that their districts aren't turning bluer if not actually blue? They're betting a lot, that Obama's plan sucks, that things won't get better at all before 2010, that the voters won't see them as obstructionists, that Obama will become drastically less popular. Don't envy those dillholes one iota.

Posted by: slappy magoo on January 28, 2009 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

This is Limbaughnomics.

I nearly quit graduate school in 1994 in the first week when an American politics professor scoffed -- at length -- at my suggestion that Rush Limbaugh was an agenda-setter in the Republican Party.

No, no, no -- look at the marginals, look at the district, look at the roll-call votes, the regressions, the residuals.

Rush Limbaugh is an agenda-setter. He knows it. We know it.

And now the Republicans know it.

Posted by: Prof B on January 28, 2009 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

christina hasn't been paying attention, clearly.

Posted by: karen marie on January 28, 2009 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

When I read this, I decided to try something I'd considered trying before, to write the speech I'd like to hear Obama give. So, pardon the unmitigated chutzpah


I was elected to this office after the beginning of what threatens to be the worst financial threat to our country since 1929. It had grown more ominous by the time I was inaugurated. The government had delivered necessary help to two industries that are vital to the economy. Perhaps, in our necessary haste we failed to include certain safeguards against abuse that, in retrospect, would have been desireable. But we were right to do what we did.

At the same time, as I said in my campaign, it was the American people that most needed help, that most needed the economy to be restarted. I promised to do that. And many of you have said that the fact that you believed me when I said it was an important reason for voting for me.

And many of you have said that the reason I was elected was that you believed my ideas and the ideas of my party were the better ones to battle this crisis -- and I have to agree with you on that.

But one of those ideas was bipartisanship. Now when I used the word, there were a lot of things I didn't mean. I didn't mean a wishy-washy, half-stepping compromise that doesn't offend anyone, but is far too weak to do anything about the problem it supposedly addresses.

I didn't mean a mechanical 'fifty-fifty split the difference' deal, because sometimes the right thing to do, the most effective thing to do is not half way between the two positions, but the division might be 75-25, or 90-10, and finding what's right is our job.

I didn't mean giving up on positions you believe in, but I did mean recognizing that someone who opposes many positions you believe in might find a way to share common ground on the point you were discussing.

And I meant other things. I meant knowing that neither side has all the right ideas. Which means listening to the other side, and listening carefully. It means considering their arguments honestly. Maybe you will still reject them, maybe you will see a few worthwile bits to combine with yours. Maybe even they will convince you you were wrong. You won't know until you listen.

I meant sometimes, in an effort which requires the whole nation's help, like the current crisis, sometimes accepting suggestions from the other side, even if you consider them dubious, not harmful but unlikely to be effective. But you are willing to try them anyway, because you need the other side to feel themselves part of the effort towards the common goal that is the reason for bipartisanship.

And finally bipartisanship means not voting blindly for something you believe is bad for the country, but not rejecting something you know is good for the country, because it would also be good for the other party. It means, in the wonderful phrase of my opponent in the last election, "Country First."

This is the spirit with which i approached the recent stimulus bill. I proposed a bill, and the other party objected to things that they felt were inappropriate in a stimulus bill. I could have argued the poin, in at least one case showed the specific economic effects, but I didn't. Those bills can stand on their own, they didn't need to be included.

And they described their own ideas, those ideas that they have expressed for many years. And I knew them, I'd heard the speeches and proposals all the time I have been in Washington. My advisers told me that they would be among the least efficient ways of helping the economy. And pollsters showed that you agreed that this was not the best way to go. But they would be less effective, not harmful, and I wanted the country to know, on our first major act, that both parties were involved in doing their part in the crisis.

I packed up every idea they had that we could dare take a chance on. I put in the package everything of theirs I could. Then I loaded it on the truck and delivered it to them personally. "Here, here's everything you asked for that I could give you."

But they didn't understand me, or what i did. Because of past incidents, they thought I was merely giving them a concession to get them to the negotiating table, that they could use what I gave them to start bargaining. But I had nothing more I would bargain with, and had given them far more than my advisers and the American people thought wise.

And so they voted, the House voted. And somehow, not one of the Republicans could see there way to voting in favor. Certainly I would not have been surprised if most of them had voted no, but all of them?

Not one could say, well, maybe I don't like all of it, but there's enough good in it, and the country needs something done. I'll vote for it.

Not one could say, the country needs confidence and they seem to like this guy Obama, maybe there are mistakes that will have to be fixed, maybe we'll bring up our ideas elsewhere, but it might be good for the country to see us united behind him. I'll vote for it.

Not one of you even felt, okay, there are problems with the over all direction, but at least it might get my constituents the road they need, the school repairs we need, and also give them the jobs they need. I'll vote for it.

None of you even wondered, since you could count and knew the bill would pass, if maybe your contituents would prefer to see you not engage in a quixotic 'last stand' against ideas many of them like.

Now only you know why you vote the way you did. Maybe your votes against were principled, and not the tawdry old-fashioned politics they appear by their unanimity.

All I ask you, all I ask the country, is if this is not a time to put 'country first?"

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on January 28, 2009 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, but one man, with Jesus, is a majority."

One man even with father, the son and the holy ghost still has only one vote in the House.

as for the moderate republicans, for the most part they no longer exist in the House, having been killed off over the last two election cycles

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 28, 2009 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

I don't recommend it, but if the Democrats wanted to use the same tactics that the Republicans did when they were in power, they could:

1) make whatever compromises were needed to get a stimulus bill passed by the Senate.

2) meet privately without any Republicans to hash out a reconciliation bill.

3) take out the Republican-sponsored tax cuts even if they were in both versions and add-in family planning moneys even if they were removed from both versions.

4) ram whatever they come up with through a House-Senate conference committee stacked with a bigger Democratic majority than they enjoy in Congress as a whole.

5) send the result back to the two houses with no ammendents or filibusters permitted and easily pass it since they only need 51% of the votes.

Posted by: tanstaafl on January 28, 2009 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

I have never met a republican that wasn't (A) a silver spoon fed spoiled rich kid that gets a car for there B-day when a republican is in office or (B) a bible thumper that would rather watch the country go down the toilet than see some homo's get married.

Posted by: just austin on January 28, 2009 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm thrilled that there no GOP supporters. This could be enormously liberating for Obama.
He played the Republicans perfectly, even going to meet with them on Capitol Hill. What did he get? Nada.
The success or failure of the stimulus package won't be known for some time. What is perfectly obvious NOW is the infantile obstructionism of the Congressional GOP, whose approval levels are already in the tank. They seem determined to follow Rush further into the abyss.
Obama, like Lincoln after reaching out to the border states, can now say "I tried. They spit on me. Full speed ahead."

Posted by: Michael on January 28, 2009 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the last time we saw a vote like this one was probably the 1993 vote on Clinton's first budget -- every single Republican in the chamber voted against it, hoping to prove, once and for all, that they were right about economics and Democrats were wrong. If memory serves, that budget was the first step towards the longest economic expansion on record, the creation of 22 million jobs, and the total elimination of the federal budget deficit.

Did I miss your comments about the 12 Democrats who voted with the GOP ? Maybe they remembered Marjorie Margolies.

I'm sure you could find the alternative GOP stimulus bill proposals if you looked a bit. Here:

The Republican proposal would:

* Reduce the lowest individual tax rates from 15 percent to 10 percent and from 10 percent to five percent.
* Allow small businesses a tax deduction up to 20 percent of income.
* Finance a $7,500 credit for home-buyers who put down at least 5 percent.
* Expand Net Operating Loss carryback rules to give companies that have been profitable in the past but are now losing money prompt infusions of cash.
* Provide an above-the-line tax deduction for private health insurance to equalize tax treatment between those who have employer-sponsored health plans and those who don't.

There. I hope that helped.

Posted by: Mike K on January 28, 2009 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Congress simply withholds all stimulus funds from Republican districts.

Posted by: FS on January 28, 2009 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

if people wanted the problems fixed they should have voted in Bob Barr. Not a person with no clue what he is doing, His top priority was to make it easy for people to sue for wage discrimination. That will be the first bill he signs. As well as the fact that he made it where community jobs have to have a specific amount of Black and Hispanic workers on the job, So whether the worker is as good as some other race they get it. Sounds Like we have a racist President. Wow Did not see this when he was voted in. Give Tax rebate to people who will not work, Just print more money for the stimulus package and make our dollar more and more weak. What a dink!!!!!!!

Posted by: John on January 28, 2009 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

I love how the Repugs think birth control is a waste of money. And all that after Ann Coulter's recent book trashed single moms as the cause of all of society's ills.

They can't fathom the stimulus of birth control. It costs about $40 a month for pills. If you are a struggling single mom, or even a couple making little more than minimum wage, that is quite a sum. If paid for, that would be almost $500 more to spend in a year. The alternative is one more mouth to feed, maybe on WIC or welfare and natal care on Medicaid. So short sighted...but then they must stop any assistance to people at the lower end of the economic scale at all costs.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on January 28, 2009 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

In reconciliation, Dems ought to pull every last penny of the d...d tax cuts they put in to please the Repubs. And, put every penny of it into all the projects they'd cut, for the same reason (to please the Repubs). Too much to hope for? Probably. But a dose of "Lessons from the Little Red Hen" would do us all a lot of good.

Posted by: exlibra on January 29, 2009 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

I can't understand why anyone would agree with the President on the bail out plan? We are already 800 billion in the whole, so why not add 800 more? How does that make sense? They aren't even sure if this will create more jobs. I would also like to say, as a tax paying citizen who pays all of my bills, why should someone who is on welfare get a $1000 tax break? Or more food stamps? I have children to feed and a mortgage to pay too, when does the average citizen get help? Just another ploy for the Democrats to control the Country by having everyone depend on Government. I would also like to remindeveryone: 52 million people didn't vote for Obama.

Posted by: Lynn on January 29, 2009 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Well isn't funny when the Repub's were passing the perscription drug bill they didn't see anything wrong with give aways to the drug companies or extending the vote into the night without the American public knowing what was in the bill. Maybe someone should have pointed out to them that their Drug Company Lobby buddies would have gotten stimulated income from the birth control part of the bill.

Where as, the site Recovery.gov is already up and ready to go and you can read this bill prior to passage and comment on it at Thomas.gov it is HR1. Where is the Republicans plan and the statistics that it will actually work. After all their last eight year plan got us in this place.

Posted by: Cindy R on January 29, 2009 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Purp*** pearls before swine. What does it take for you to quit inviting the scum into the house? It's like looking for Good Nazis in the SS. These republicans only care about their party and political gain. While holding up signs reading "Country First" they nominated Sarah Palin for VP??? Their mission is to protect the holdings and the business of the ultra rich and multinational corporations. They want a theocracy only to justify their behavior as if it were ordained. How much closer to a fascist police corporatocracy do we need to come before you quit playing 'nice' to the lynch mob republicans...lynch anyone who dares to prosecute their crimes. Screw them and the Jeebus they rode in on.

Until we break up the media monopolies all we will see is ownership society propaganda whose only enemy is a sharing-caring nation. Look what they've already done to our nation...in every area, while they breed ignorance and contempt for efficient government.

Posted by: bjobotts on January 29, 2009 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

I expect the republicans were looking at the largest pork-laden bill in the history of our country and believe that tax cuts will work a heck of a lot better than pork. Always has, always will.

But it's good politics to purchase votes with your grand-childrens money.

Posted by: dude1394 on January 29, 2009 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

This is step one for the GOP's big comeback over the next 2-4 years. When this pork-laden monstrosity fails to "stimulate" anything and the GOP gains 50 seats in the House in '10 and retakes control we'll be dancing in the streets yelling "see, we told ya"!!! And of course we'll pick up important governorships and TONS of state legislative seats to control redistricting in key states come 2011. As for the Senate, we'll probably pick up 5-6 seats which won't be enough for control. We'll save that for '12 when Bobby Jindal defeats Obama and idiots like Webb, Tester, Sherrod Brown and Bobby Casey are up.

Posted by: George on January 29, 2009 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! Are there really that many stupid people here. Do yall actually believe the goverment can manage money? Do you actually believe that putting millions into contraceptives stimulates the economy. I guess everyone in the America feels that the goverment owes us money. I earn my way and the only time I expect money from the goverment is when I get some of my income taxes back. Politicians are all screwed up from both parties. Thats why I would rather the goverment stay out of it and let time do its work. Americans need to be Americans and fix our on damn problems. Hopefully one day we will become that country that doesnt depend on Big Brother to bail us out. If anything they should invest directly into the people instead of stupid goverment programs at least then I would have a say in how my tax dollars our spent.But I guess yall would rather go with the guy who goes to a church for 20 years to listen to a preacher that says God Damn America.

Posted by: bman on January 29, 2009 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

bman, George, dude1394, Lynn, John all prove that southerners fuck sheep. Assholes like this should not be allowed to breed.

Posted by: Ihadtosayit on January 29, 2009 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Give it a rest. Bipartisanship? That's never going to happen. The Democrats know they can vote into existence anything they want. They won't even listen to any Republican input. The Democrat definition of bipartisanship is for the Republicans to submit to the Democrats and not question anything. Of course tax cuts work. Keep more of your own money - you'll spend it - spend/consume more - more products required therefore more jobs for people to make the product - Economics 101. If we all live with the notion that - "oh well, the government will take care of me", where's the personal responsibility? Where's the pride in taking personal responsibility. This government is catering to the freeloaders and the rich (which I am definately not one of) are being punished for working hard and making their own money. The American dream of being a success is being squashed by its own leader. Spread the wealth? Watch - we'll be standing in line soon to get our government issued ration of food. And I could go on . . . Arghhh . . . Maybe I'll just stay at home and have babies so I can get more food rationed to my household. Oh, wait, we can solve that by aborting them - again not taking personal responsibility for own actions - let's punish the innocent. Let's punish the rich for succeeding. Bottom line - the rich are rich because they keep doing what it is that makes them rich. The poor are poor for the same reason. Now they have a leader that will take "care of them"(also known as control/lording over). Sad

Posted by: Linda on January 29, 2009 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

That should have been:

"The Republicans now are in danger of being regarded in the same way again."

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 29, 2009 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

Ihadtosayit, Yeah I guess you blame all of your problems on the goverment. I apologize if I believe people should be responsible for their own lives. But go ahead, I will pay taxes and my kids will pay taxes to support worthless goverment programs and give money to illegal citzens and yes even support lazy fucks like yourself who needs the goverment to fix your problems. You are probably one of those idiots on TV that said Im so happy Obama got elected. I wont have to worry about paying for gas or food anymore. Idiot

Posted by: bman on January 29, 2009 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

Dear bman: It's "government", you illiterate moron. You not only don't know how to spell it, but you don't know what it is, what it does, or how it functions.

Ditto for Linda, George, dude1394, Lynn, and John ... all grossly ignorant and intellectually dishonest people who can't even comprehend the points of Steve Benen's article.

Posted by: Jay Ballou on January 29, 2009 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

get a job you idiot. Let me guess you still have your still breast feeding. Its job is not to use my money to provide for illegal aliens and worthless bastards who do not want to work.

Posted by: bman on January 29, 2009 at 4:24 AM | PERMALINK

Jay I completley understand the article and I actually keep up with this shit everyday. I like to know what Im fighting for and I can see it is to keep worthless shits like you happy and content. Are you disguntle at work? Are you working at Burgerking? How is that anyones fought but your own? Lets just sell our country to Saudi Arabia so we can make the economy better. Take some fucking pride in yourself and your country. You are a waste of oxygen. But since your so at checking grammer maybe the goverment will hire you to teach illegals how to read.

Posted by: bman on January 29, 2009 at 4:34 AM | PERMALINK

But since your [sic] so [sic] at checking grammer [sic] maybe the goverment [sic] will hire you to teach illegals how to read.

Tasty. A parody couldn't have done it better.

Posted by: shortstop on January 29, 2009 at 7:09 AM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: "marketeer," high priest of faith-based laissez-faire economics, complains about beliefs without evidence.

Posted by: Gregory on January 29, 2009 at 8:00 AM | PERMALINK

healthcare, why should they care ,they have insurance,and more money than 80% of the middle class and 100% more than the poor or elderly,infrastructure,our roads suck our bridges are falling apart there are more vehicle's on the road today then when most of them took office, so many traffic delays which is a waste of gas and causes more emissions, ie greenhouse gases.screw the republicans what have they done for us in 12 yrs ,give dems a chance they can't do any worse

Posted by: walter on January 29, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

bailouts : until ceo's are held accountable for greed ,don't give them a dime why should we be paying for bonuses, they layoff all these people to save company money and then they take huge bonuses ,how much did they save,it's time to regulate utilities again and regulate how much companies can charge, if these big companies would take pay and rate cuts our economy would revive itself ,GREED IS WHAT IS KILLING OUR COUNTRY NEVER MIND THE WORLD

Posted by: walter on January 29, 2009 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

time to stop nafta, stop closing companies and shipping jobs and work where they pay less for work and then charge more for product it's just GREED GREED AND MORE GREED.....do they really think we are that blind and stupid, I KNOW I AM NOT, WAKE UP

Posted by: WALTER on January 29, 2009 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

There is another consideration that may have lead to the Republican's opposition to the bailout. Right now they are getting way more than their share of the limited resources from the bailout (Maddow suggests it's about 2:1 in their favor) without having to bargain in good faith. So, why not run that play again.

Posted by: Eric on January 29, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

If in two years there are even the most miniscule signs of economic improvement, the Republicans' obstructionism shot them in the foot. The Dems are on exactly the right track -- the public despises Congress for not getting anything done & the Republicans are doing their damndest to see that nothing gets done. Their behavior can't look good to anyone but those who dance the Limbaugh-low.

In fact, their solid vote (only 3 for) against the Lilly Ledbetter was even more egregious. What sentient human being thinks encouraging wage discrimination is a good thing? -- & no, Nino Scalia doesn't count.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com

Posted by: Marie Burns on January 29, 2009 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

This thread kinda reminds me of the old days...

Posted by: dr sardonicus on January 29, 2009 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

all of the evidence showing the stimulative effects of the plan...
Wow, if you can gather evidence before the event occurs, you'd be a great CSI.

Posted by: Luther on January 29, 2009 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hey. He's simply got the instinct for being unhappy highly developed. Help me! Could you help me find sites on the: Insurance home homeowner renters. I found only this - american family renters insurance. Renters insurance, or gave your room due buy down? Renters insurance, business is few for tenant real to charge of the vehicle and all costs sure to wedding that needs in playground with a landlord, if renter pays to leave missing life while in purpose of the vehicle. Thanks ;-). Chevalier from Western.

Posted by: Chevalier on March 2, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK



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