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...And the Senate Follows Suit

February 13, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Hot on the heels of the House of Representatives, the Senate this evening gave final congressional approval to the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by a vote of 60-38 – not a vote to spare. President Obama will sign the bill into law on Monday.

Since it’s Friday night and I’m busy with other things, here’s what the Washington Post has to say:

>The bill, which passed the House 246 to 183 and the Senate 60 to 38, represents the start of a new ideological era that places the federal government at the center of the nation’s economic recovery. It also provides a down payment on much of President Obama’s domestic agenda, including his pledges to upgrade the nation’s aging roads, bridges, and electricity grid; overhaul health-care record-keeping and invest billions in alternative energy research to reverse climate change and wean the country from foreign oil.
>The legislation is an early triumph for Obama, even though he was able to attract only three Republican senators to sign on to an effort that he once hoped would pass with large majorities from both parties. Nevertheless, the White House and Democratic congressional leaders were able to move what became an 1,100-page bill from first draft to final passage in less than a month, keeping to the ambitious timetable they set.
>The package combines tax cuts with new spending, and three-quarters of the money is planned to reach state capitals, businesses and individual taxpayers by the end of September 2010. Its virtues and limitations will remain uncertain until the money is paid out in the form of road projects, unemployment checks and energy-efficient building improvements, but its reach is already clear.
>The New Deal of the 1930s equaled no more than 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. The new legislation represents over 5 percent and is probably no more than an opening bid — Obama and his congressional allies will next turn to the foreclosure crisis, the reform of financial markets and an overhaul of federal budget practices.
>"Passing this plan is a critical step," Obama said at the White House yesterday morning. “But as important as it is, it’s only the beginning of what we must do to turn our economy around.”

In both the Senate and House, the stimulus bill was passed by near party-line votes. Of the 535 members of Congress, only three Republicans voted in favor of the bill:

Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. Arlen Specter [R, PA]

And only 7 Democrats voted against it:

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]

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  • qawagstaff 02/13/2009 7:00pm

    I can’t believe they hide the text until 12 midnight then voted on it Friday. What a disgusting group of Democratic Politicians. The American won’t forget Friday the 13th!

  • timcharper 02/13/2009 7:59pm
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    + -1

    Just completely disappointed with this wrecking ball of a bill.

    “Hey… hey, we got a problem! A real problem!”

    “We do?”

    “Yeah! What are we going to do to fix it?!?!”

    “I know… money! And… socialism!”

    “Great Scott! Hurry up and write up a 1000 page bill, burry as much pork in there as you can, then call it an economic recovery package. And make sure you tell ‘em there’s NO PORK in it.”

  • jp215 02/14/2009 1:15am
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    + -1

    As much I like the ideas behind this bill the way they pushed it through like Bush did with the patriot act passing it late on a Friday with no one reading it.
    That makes me worry a little bit…

  • Anonymous 02/14/2009 3:05am

    I truely believe this Bill was never intended to fully “Stimulate” the economy. I also believe before Obama was elected there were people busy drafting the hidden parts of this Bill to go forward with His Agenda and hidden earmarks to bypass the proper channels to intoduce them. The larger they made the bill the easier to hide Agenda items.
    I have not had time to scratch the surface on this bill but here’s one question. There is a portion of the money for College tax credits. On the White House Agenda under service there is this “Require 100 Hours of Service in College: Establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.” I can only imagine the public service that will be required.
    Can these agenda items be attached to the parts of the Bill that they effect?
    Another question can the way this Bill was passed with no opportunity for even one person to read it, be constitutional. That’s like voting for an elected official and not know who you are voting for. WE THE PEOPLE, need to find a way to get OUR voices heard. By the way there is no listing under “ETHICS” on the White house site. Only reference to his Executive Order which has already been broken. Hmmmmmm

  • pdorsett 02/14/2009 3:27am
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    Unbelieveable….a crime against “WE the People”…we are now all held hostage to this pork bill…with more hand outs to come…and you better believe with each one you will be accountable to the GOVERMENT AGENDA!
    SOCIALISM…Just wonderful…makes me want to go VOMIT on Snow,Collins And Specter!!!

  • Anonymous 02/14/2009 3:54am

    Oh My God, The Democrats are using “SNEAKY” Politics. Where did they learn that? I can’t believe how bad most Republicans are crying about this!

  • Anonymous 02/14/2009 8:28am

    This is the most important, best piece of legislation to help the vast majority of Americans in decades. STOP SNIVELING! There may a very small portion that could be considered “pork” but it’ll go further to improve lives than anything most Republicans could have drafted!

  • Anonymous 02/14/2009 8:40am
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    Here is a summary of the viewpoints presented here:

    From Non-Democrats:
    – This bill was passed quickly, and it has too much pork, and it won’t help the economy.

    From Democrats:
    – Republicans are evil, you guys suck.

    So I’d like to hear some better counter-arguments from Democrats, perhaps a reason as to why this bill will work, and what does it actually do?

  • Anonymous 02/14/2009 1:49pm
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    + -1


  • Anonymous 02/14/2009 5:22pm
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    America is going to collapse into itself as a socialist relic. Maybe China will help us to be capitalists

  • DJJ 02/14/2009 8:00pm

    It’s time to foreclose, pay the “piper” and start over, and be accountable for our poor stewartship. Maybe we can clean it up before our children are left holding the bag.

    The other matter: Read information I found on the below websites. Is thias true? If it is how can we trust Mr. Obama and you guys(SCOTUS, House, Senate, FBI,CIA, etc) with something as massive as this when you and he can’t cleanup simple matters from like simply providing a righteous response for a simple request to confirm Mr. Obama’s natural born US citizenship status. Ratherthan simply put this to rest by sending the information requested, I understand Mr. Obama and others named in lawsuits around the country have hired several powerful law firms requesting dismissal and to seal access to all of Mr. Obama’s records(vault copy of BC, college records, immigration records, medical records, ect.). I bet that costs lots money. Why not spend a few bucks and just provide the information? Would that clear the matter up amnd build trust in everyone.

    Before you say it, let me ask: Since when was “” Appointed offical vetting agency for the election process?

    In Texas, I understand the plaintiff’s request for dismissal used was that they have “Official Immunity.”

    This gives me great faith and trust in my President & everyone that did not demand his accountability!

    I understand Pelosi, Howard Dean and the DNC are responsible to make sure these matters are properly perfomed? HAs anyone asked them? I also understand a Phil Berg of the Democratic Party advised Mr. Obaqma he was not elligible way back when he first considered entering the race? Then why are there still lawsuits and hush by the Mainstream media? And the Subpoena from Occidental(see below)?

    Mr. Obama can very simply put this to rest as he did the concerns of Rev. Wright. He didn’t get attorny’s to resolve that matters? Is he hiding something?

    A new lawsuit is being prepared by a California attorney who already has four cases pending over the issue of President Barack Obama’s eligibility to occupy to Oval Office, and this one will include a demand from state lawmakers who forward state funds to Washington for documentation of his qualifications.

    Orly Taitz told WND today that she’s preparing the complaint but is holding onto it and will file it shortly to give state legislators a chance to join the action as plaintiffs.

    Four already have signed up, including state Rep. Eric Swafford of Tennessee, who agreed to be a plaintiff “for a Writ of Mandamus to obtain original birth certificate, immigration records, passports and other vital records for Barry Soetero aka Barack Hussein Obama.”

    Taitz told WND the case also probably will include members of the military as plaintiffs, since both state lawmakers and military officers are obliged to follow orders from the president of the United States and both have a need to know those orders are legitimate.

    “In the military, those would be unlawful orders, and [following them] would subject the officers to courts-martial,” she said. “In the legislatures, they cannot follow any of his bills or orders … they don’t know who he is.

    “As far as we know he is a foreign national … Why should state legislators send any funds from the state to a foreign national?” she said.

    “While we are working on the complaint, I’m gathering support from different states,” she said.

    Other sites with information:

  • Anonymous 02/15/2009 3:52am

    To the one who said this is the best piece of legislation to help the vast majority of Americans is full of it. I’ll bet you haven’t even looked at it. I have, as much as is humanly possible. I urge everyone to do a keyword search of your choosing and read as much of this bill as you can. The Bill that supposedly has little pork and NO earmarks. It is full of handouts and bridge to Nowhere projects. I have yet to find any provision in this bill that will create more than a handful of jobs. The Democrats say this Bill will create or save 3.5 millions jobs. WHERE DID THEY GET THAT FIGURE? That is over 3,000 jobs for every page of the Bill. How stupid do you think we are.
    We have been, to quote Mr. Obama, Hoodwinked and Bamboozled. Even Nancy Pelosi said in her speech either before or after the vote I can’t remember but she said this Bill was full of things the Democrats have been trying to put into legislation for a long time. Hmmmm When has anyone been working on Stimulus legislation prior to the Bailout. Missdirection Deception and out and out lies. Our congress needs an enema. There’s not much we can do at this point. In two years if you and I have not benefited from this “Stimulus”, are out of work, and by then will have run out of “Unemployment” please remember one thing no on can take from you is your right to “Vote” take the time to learn whom you have put in office and find out who can better represent “We the People” That means everyone, Republican, Democrat, Independent etc. I have not found one person where I live who thinks this bill will help. I do not believe for one second that every democratic constituency has wished for the Yes vote of their Representative or Senator.

  • dogwoodforest1 02/15/2009 9:00am

    This bill is a ridiculous attempt at socialism. The economy goes up and it goes down. People get hired they get fired. That is capitalism at work. That is America at work. It is how we became great. If you think socialism works then look at the tax burden of socialist countries around the world. Germany France I know how to spend my money better then the government does.

  • Anonymous 02/17/2009 7:59am

    While the passing of this bill may be a huge step away from freedom, we must all remember that with freedom comes responsibility and we must spread a responsible democracy through the grassroots. Talk to people you know and explain what responsibility in a democracy is all about and then go out and live your life as an example. All we can do then is trust in God for the future of this country.

  • leehorton 02/19/2009 6:39am

    I believe it is time for us to have a Nationwide “Tea Party” to take back our country from these socialistic people such as Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Obama, Biden, Clinton, and an Attorney General that thinks we are all cowards. Perhaps it is time we show all of them we are not cowards. We are not afraid to stand up for our Country and the principles we have stood for for centuries.
    This incentive plan, and everything this President has done since taking office has been to the destruction of our republic and the freedom we enjoy. It has all been designed to make this country and its people a socialistic communistic country, with the people totally dependent upon the government.
    Why should those of us who have paid our bills responsibly be required to put the payment for those that have not and have been irreponsible.

    Yes, it is time for a Nationwide “TEA PARTY”

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