House Passes Stimulus with Zero GOP VotesFebruary 13, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
The House of Representatives has just passed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act conference report by a vote of 246-183, sending it to the Senate for one final test before it gets signed into law by President Obama.
Like the House’s first vote on the bill in late January, not a single Republican voted for it. Seven Democrats crossed the aisle this time to vote with the Republicans against the bill. They are:
Rep. Bobby Bright [D, AL-2]
Rep. Peter DeFazio [D, OR-4]
Rep. Parker Griffith [D, AL-5]
Rep. Walter Minnick [D, ID-1]
Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7]
Rep. Heath Shuler [D, NC-11]
Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4]
One Democrat voted “present”: Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3].
Leading up to the vote on passage this morning, the House debate was mainly focused on the speed with which the final version of the 999-page bill was brought to the floor. The final version of the legislation was still being worked out late into Thursday night; at 11pm ET, the text was posted on the House Rules Committee website, complete with hand-scrawled scratch-outs and illegible notes in the ledger. Earlier in the week, the House voted unanimously to adopt a non-binding rule, proposed by Rep. Jerry Lewis [R, CA-41] that instructed conference committee members not to endorse a final version of the bill “unless the text of such agreement has been available to managers in an electronic, searchable and downloadable form for at least 48 hours.” Since the rule was non-binding, there wasn’t much the Republicans could do to slow things down. But in a series of procedural votes this morning, a couple dozen Democrats broke with their party to join Republicans in protesting how the conference report was being handled.
The Senate will take their vote on the legislation this evening.
UPDATE: The Swamp has Rep. Lipinski’s explanation of his “present” vote:
>’I did not want to embarrass President Obama, but I don’t think Congress did Obama any favors in the way this bill was put together. I wanted to send the message that we needed to do more.’