Archive for the ‘bipartisan’ Category

Obama ‘Business as Usual’ Despite Pledges

February 15, 2009

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senator John McCain said the Obama Administration was doing “business as usual” despite pledges of transparency, bipartisanship and avoiding top appointees with blemishes on their otherwise clean records.

He specifically said he was disappointed in the new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner who had admitted to not fully paying his taxes.

Geithner now runs the IRS.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio, pauses in the elevator after arriving on Capitol 
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

On the stimulus, McCain said, “I hope the next time we will sit down together and conduct truly bipartisan negotiations. This was not a bipartisan bill.”

See the viceo and read the CNN acount:

Obama Team: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

Obama Teasing Gets McCain Snide Response

February 7, 2009

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., admonished President Barack Obama Friday for deriding Republican characterization of the stimulus plan as a spending bill.

US Republican John McCain pauses while speaking before members ...  

“What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point. No, seriously, that’s the point,” Obama said during a retreat of House of Representatives Democrats at the retreat in Williamsburg, Va.

“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?”

The GOP presidential nominee also called on Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to appoint a bipartisan panel “to hash this thing out” and look for areas where it can be cut.

While McCain hasn’t commented much publicly until Friday about the stimulus package, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Politico he believed Obama was “AWOL” on bipartisan negotiations on the stimulus, further showing the discontent on the GOP side of the aisle.

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.”


Stimulus: Obama May Need To Make a Deal

February 6, 2009

In the Clint Eastwood movie “Kelly’s Heroes,” the good guys are trying to break into a bank held by the bad guys.  Rather than fight it out, the character played by Don Rickles says, “Make a deal.”

He is asked, “What kind of a deal?”

He answers: “A deal deal.”

Barack Obama needs to make a deal on the stimulus.

The House version of the stimulus is terrible and cannot be enacted into law — beacuase it would be very bad law not because the Republicans are in the way.

Plus a group of Senate moderates have been crafting an alternative stimulus package that just might right some of the wrongs of the House bill.

The President said, “I won.”  But his “catastrophe,” the economy and the lack of a stimulus, remains.

Now the president needs to make a deal.  A deal deal.

Moderates seek bipartisan OK of stimulus package
President Catastrophe: Listen to FDR, JFK
‘Catastrophe’ Obama Is Angry; And We Might Be Too

Moderates seek bipartisan OK of stimulus package

February 6, 2009

Senate moderates seeking to pare back Barack Obama’s economic plan are rekindling their efforts in hopes of building a bipartisan vote that eluded the president in the House.

A group of nearly 20 moderates from both parties — more Democrats than Republicans — huddled off and on all day Thursday in hopes of cutting as much as $100 billion from Obama’s plan, which ballooned to $937 billion on the Senate floor, with further add-ons possible during a long day of votes Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., displayed impatience with the moderates, led by Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., at a midday news conference, but he lent them encouragement as he sent senators home later Thursday.

“It’s gotten more encouraging and that’s because the leadership has indicated that they have some appreciation for the work that this bipartisan group is doing,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. “It’s still got life. It’s still breathing.”

A roster of $88 billion worth of cuts was circulating, almost half of which would come from education grants to states, with an additional $13 billion in aid to local school districts for special education and the No Child Left Behind law on the chopping block as well. Some $870 million to fight the flu was among the first items to go, but other items divided the group.

At the same time, the group also was hoping to add perhaps $25 billion in additional infrastructure projects.

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

“We’ve added more tax cuts and tax relief. We’ve trimmed out some of the fat and now we have to add a little muscle,” Landrieu said, referring to additional infrastructure spending.

If the group fails to reach an accord — or if it won’t fly with Democratic loyalists — the alternative for Reid is to try to ram the measure through with just a few GOP supporters, such as Olympia Snowe of Maine. He expressed confidence he has the 60 votes needed to press it through if need be.

The massive measure is a key early test for Obama, who has made it the centerpiece of his fledgling presidency. Obama embraced the moderates’ efforts, saying he would “love to see additional improvements” in the bill.

Speaking to a House Democratic retreat in Williamsburg, Va., Obama pushed Democrats to avoid political gamesmanship and get a stimulus bill to his desk by next week.

Voters who ousted Republicans from power “didn’t vote for the status quo,” he said. “They sent us here to bring change. We owe it to them to deliver.”

Read the rest:

Bipartisan Push to Trim Size of Stimulus Plan

February 6, 2009

A bipartisan group of senators worked furiously in backroom negotiations on Thursday to cut the cost of the more than $920 billion economic stimulus plan. Senate Democratic leaders said they would await the outcome of those talks before calling for a final vote on the measure, perhaps on Friday.

The New York Times

Members of the bipartisan group, led by Senators Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, and Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said they wanted to trim provisions that would not quickly create jobs or encourage spending by consumers and businesses. They spent much of the day scrutinizing the 736-page bill and wrangling over what to cut.

By early evening, aides said the group had drafted a list of nearly $90 billion in cuts, including $40 billion in aid for states, more than $14 billion for various education programs, $4.1 billion to make federal buildings energy efficient and $1.5 billion for broadband Internet service in rural areas. But they remained short of a deal, and talks were expected to resume Friday morning.

“We’re trying to focus it on spending that truly helps stimulate the economy,” Ms. Collins said. “People have different views on whether or not a program meets that test. So we’re continuing to talk. We get close, and then it drops back, and then we get close again.”

President Obama, while once again urging Congress to act swiftly, avoided taking sides by saying that a package of about $800 billion was in the ballpark of what he believed the economy needed.

“The scale and scope of this plan is right,” Mr. Obama said in a speech to House Democrats who were on a retreat in Williamsburg, Va.

“If we do not move swiftly,” the president said, “an economy that is in crisis will be faced with catastrophe.” He added, “Millions more Americans will lose their jobs. Homes will be lost. Families will go without health care. Our crippling dependence on foreign oil will continue. That is the price of inaction.”

The White House announced that Mr. Obama would make a televised speech to the nation about the economy on Monday night.

The Senate debate took place on the eve of the release of January jobs data. Economists expect the national unemployment rate to hit 7.5 percent, and to reach double digits in some industrial states. Last week, almost 4.8 million people collected unemployment insurance, the highest weekly number in 40 years.

The majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, said he believed that Democrats could muscle the stimulus bill through with at least two Republican votes. But late Thursday he said he would give the bipartisan group until Friday to reach a deal. If no deal is reached, he said he would call for procedural vote on Sunday aimed at moving to final vote.

Read the rest:

Stimulus Puts National Spotlight on Nancy Pelosi

February 5, 2009

The drama over President Obama’s pricey stimulus package has put House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at center stage. And when the curtain comes down on the final plan, the reviews may come to this: Did she play the uniter or the divider?

By Carla Marinucci
The San Francisco Chronicle
Pelosi, who has consistently talked about working across the aisle, led the charge last week as the initial $819 billion version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act emerged from the House – approved without a single Republican vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks with reporters during ... 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks with reporters during her weekly press availability, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Republicans managed what some had thought impossible: a show of unity and steely resistance to the speaker little more than a week after the popular Democratic president took the oath of office.

Fired up by a Rush Limbaugh-led charge against what they called a “Pelosi-Reid” pork-laden package, GOP leaders took to the airwaves and the blogs to lambaste items such as $335 million in funding for education against sexually transmitted diseases and a makeover of the National Mall. They talked up the need for more tax relief, which they said would bolster the economy and howled that they were shut out of the process.

“The Republicans who seemed so lost and so in disarray all of a sudden grasped the upper hand,” said Hoover Institution research fellow Bill Whalen. “They’ve managed to change the focus from what the package will do to what’s in the package – waste and pork.”

Read the rest:

 Obama’s Bipartisanship Lost In Nancy Pelosi’s Office; Now President Tries Senate GOP For Help with Recovery Bill

Obama Was Cheated: House Stimulus a Nancy Pelosi Crime

Senator Critical Of President for Not Leading on Stimulus; Calls Effort “Crazy,” Bill “Monstrosity”

February 5, 2009

An emotional Senator Lindsey Graham said Thursday that President Obama was not leading on the economic stimulus and his effort to spent $1 trillion “overnight” was “crazy.”

The stimulus package now calls for almost $900 billion in spending and the interest on the debt/loan could be $300 billion.

“I like President Obama but giving TV interviews is not leading.  Having lunch with people is not leading.  Scaring people is not leading,” Senator Graham said.

He said he was hoping to see the president get Congressional leaders together to make a better stimulus bill.

The South Carolina Republican was unusually harsh on President Obama and the process to pass the stimulus in the Senate, a process he called “crazy,” “stupid,” and a “waste of time.”

“This is not bipartisan at all.  I want to help the president on Gitmo, on the stimulus and on other things for our country but this is just a waste of time,” Garaham said.

He called the House stimulus package a “monstrosity.”

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Lindsey Graham
Lindsey Graham

Stimulus Passage? Obama Says “Cautiously Optimistic” But Some Dem Senators Wonder

 Stimulus: Master of The Message, No Drama Obama Losing?

White House Demonizes Senate Republicans on Terrible Stimulus Package; Why No Senate Dems Embrace This Stimulus?

 Obama Was Cheated: House Stimulus a Nancy Pelosi Crime

You’ll Be Happy To Know, Nancy Pelosi is Not Partisan

January 31, 2009

When asked about the president’s stimulus package this week, and why every Republican and 11 Democrats voted against it, Nancy Pelosi said:

“I didn’t come here to be partisan. I didn’t come here to be bipartisan. I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest.”

“The president’s agenda is reflected in this legislation. It’s — I mentioned, some of the priorities that were there about creating jobs, cutting taxes, helping states through this difficult economic time, and to do so in a fiscally sound way.”

“People vote for what they believe in. Clearly, the Republicans did not believe in the agenda that I just described for you, and that’s probably one of the reasons they voted that way. I think they probably voted their conscience and they couldn’t support that. … We reached out to the Republicans all along the way, and they know it. And they know it. They were part of the original bill, with the — some of the tax provisions were their suggestions. They had what they asked for in terms of committee mark-up. They had the rule on the floor that gave them plenty of opportunity to make changes. They just didn’t have the ideas that had the support of the majority of the people in the Congress. ”

Well, few in the Republican camp buy Nancy’s assesment of herself so either she is wrong or the other 188 people who voted against her bill are all wrong….

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-calif., speaks during a ...
Nancy Pelosi tries to hold off critics and self assessment….

GOP defies Obama overtures

January 29, 2009

House Republicans have proposed an alternative that leaders say would create 6.2 million jobs for only $478 billion.

“What Member can’t go back his or her District and explain: Rather than voting for a bloated bill, … I voted for an alternative that would create twice the jobs at half the cost, and faster?” a House Republican leadership aide said. “That’s why we didn’t lose a single Republican and picked up 11 Democrats.”

By Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin

Pushing back against the unanimous House Republican vote against President Obama’s stimulus plan, the White House plans to release state-by-state job figures “so we can put a number on what folks voted for an against,” an administration aide said. 

“It’s clear the Republicans who voted against the stimulus represent constituents who will be stunned to learn their member of Congress voted against [saving or] creating 4 million jobs,” the aide said.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the lawmakers will have to answer to their constituents.

“I do believe that there will be people in districts all over the country that will wonder why, when there’s a good bill to get the economy moving again, why we still

Read the rest:

Public Support for Economic Recovery Plan Slips to 42%

January 29, 2009

Scott Rasmussen said today that public support for President’s Economic stimulus, as it passed in the House yesterday, is slipping.

Rasmussen said many people say they support the bill “just because they like Obama.”

This goodwill from the public during the president’s honeymoon is already ebbing badly where laws are made: in the House and Senate.  Despite a pledge of bipartisanship, not one Republican could bring themselves to vote for the Democratic stimulus.  Now onward to the Senate….


From Rasmussen Reports

Public support for the economic recovery plan crafted by President Obama and congressional Democrats has slipped a bit over the past week. At the same time, expectations that the plan will quickly become law have increased.

Forty-two percent (42%) of the nation’s likely voters now support the president’s plan, roughly one-third of which is tax cuts with the rest new government spending. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 39% are opposed to it and 19% are undecided. Liberal voters overwhelmingly support the plan while conservatives are strongly opposed.

Read the rest: