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Stimulus Package Passes House With No Republican Votes

January 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

That’s it for the House. Now on to the Senate with President Obama’s $825 billion economic stimulus package.

After approving seven amendments, the House of Representatives this evening voted 244 – 188 in favor of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Not a single Republican member voted in favor of the bill on final passage. On the other hand, these 11 Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans against the bill:

Rep. Allen Boyd [D, FL-2]
Rep. Bobby Bright [D, AL-2]
Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5]
Rep. Brad Ellsworth [D, IN-8]
Rep. Parker Griffith [D, AL-5]
Rep. Paul Kanjorski [D, PA-11]
Rep. Frank Kratovil [D, MD-1]
Rep. Walter Minnick [D, ID-1]
Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7]
Rep. Heath Shuler [D, NC-11]
Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4]

…more than half of them Blue Dogs.

The stimulus package is now officially in the Senate’s court. Earlier today the Senate Appropriations Committee released a .pdf of the spending portion of the bill, which totals around $366 billion. The Senate Finance Committee’s tax cut portion of the bill totals $522 billion, bringing the total price tag of the Senate’s version to $877 billion. You can view the Senate bill, leave comments, and track news and blog coverage here:

S. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

In order to get the bill out of the Senate, Democrats will have to pick off at least two Republicans, and have no Democratic defectors. Senator Grassley’s (R-IA) Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch amendment, which was added in yesterday’s Finance Committee markup, could help win over the crucial votes. Besides Grassley, Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME) also voted in favor of the bill during committee markup.

After the House vote tonight, President Obama issued the following statement:

>Last year, America lost 2.6 million jobs. On Monday alone, we learned that some of our biggest employers plan to cut another 55,000. This is a wakeup call to Washington that the American people need us to act and act immediately.
>That is why I am grateful to the House of Representatives for moving the American Recovery and Reinvestment plan forward today. There are many numbers in this plan. It will double our capacity to generate renewable energy. It will lower the cost of health care by billions and improve its quality. It will modernize thousands of classrooms and send more kids to college. And it will put billions of dollars in immediate tax relief into the pockets of working families.
>But out of all these numbers, there is one that matters most to me: this recovery plan will save or create more than three million new jobs over the next few years.
>I can also promise that my administration will administer this recovery plan with a level of transparency and accountability never before seen in Washington. Once it is passed, every American will be able to go the website and see how and where their money is being spent.
>The plan now moves to the Senate, and I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan before it gets to my desk. But what we can’t do is drag our feet or allow the same partisan differences to get in our way. We must move swiftly and boldly to put Americans back to work, and that is exactly what this plan begins to do.

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  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 6:01am


  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 8:29am

    I agree with the comments above—this package is wrong for America. It is not the government’s role to get us out of every scrape we fall into. Let’s focus on keeping accountable those who are unethical and who break the law. I think the government should let the market truly be a free market. The government’s interference in banking mixed with unethical business people and overly greedy and/or ignorant consumers got us into this mess. The consequences hurt, but THEY ARE NECESSARY for us to correct the mistakes AND learn from them. These comments come from one who has been “hurt” by lay offs. It’s not the governments job to stimulate the economy. It’s their job to make sure that those who do not obey the laws are punished. Stupidity has yucky consequences. Let these consequences take care of themselves. Let the true American spirit revive itself.

  • nightman 01/29/2009 8:44am
    Link Reply
    + -2

    I like the picture of George Washington in the background. Apparently he approves this bill.

  • Anonymous 01/29/2009 10:16am

    yeah corporate welfare is fine, but putting people before profits? why thats just UNamerican!


  • DisgustedAmerican 01/29/2009 1:58pm

    Since America is in such dire straits after the past 8 years no accountability let alone “no transparency”, the government must step up to the plate and try to right all the wrongs. You are kidding yourself if you think the Economy is going to right itself. Those greedy opportunist are still out there….the banks, the oil companies, insurance companies,pharmaceutical companies, and Wall Street to name a few. They are incapable of policing themselves or committing to any ethical behavior period. Big business can not be trusted to think the least about you or me.

  • Comm_reply
    nightman 01/30/2009 8:31am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    You’re right. Big business can’t be trusted and neither can our government. This scam package is a repeat of the Patriot Act following 9/11. The majority party using a crisis (economic recession) to force their agenda on the American people. Only this time we have a different majority party. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/01/2009 9:48am

    why do so many think it’s the goverments responsibility the take care of all of this, we need to let them fall on their face and pick themselves up by the boot straps, dust off and start over just like the rest of us do.

  • Anonymous 01/30/2009 2:12pm

    Any individual that is still successful or profitable in this poor economy must be punished. Tax them until they can’t succeed either and give it to the failing businesses or non-tax payers. Anyone successful must pay. That will fix the economy. It’s a brave new world. Hail Lord BHO.

  • Comm_reply
    jk318318 02/01/2009 8:10am

    I think you’re on to something – worked well during the Great Depression (that’s probably what made it “Great”)

  • morgaine101 01/31/2009 4:22pm

    I want to know, exactly and precisely, why each and ever member of the House voted as he or she did. What was unacceptable to whom? Why was it unacceptable? What seemed the perfect solutions to the problems? Why? My hope is that by becoming a member of this site (just moments ago), I will be able to answer those questions for myself. It is impossible for us as a country to continue on in a partisan fashion and hope to accomplish anything substantial and lasting for our nation. We MUST find common ground.
    Had the government actually been regulating economic practices in this country, rather than trusting American citizens (both corporate and average) to not be devious and greedy, we would most assuredly NOT be in this mess right now.
    It is exceedingly clear that the only people who benefit from ‘trickle-down economics’ are the very few, who already have the very most. Under that system, the backbone of the country and the economy, the middle- and working-class, have been left to flounder, and bear the brunt of taxation.
    I truly believe the only fair tax will be a flat percentage rate tax that will then be split between federal and local governments. A ‘tithe tax’. Ten percent of one’s gross income, no tax shelters, no places to ‘hide’ the money so it won’t be taxed. Everyone pays their own fair share, up front. Complete transparency; annual public audits of the money trail. Anyone attempting to circumvent the process is fined extraordinarily, say 25% of their gross income. That should deter would-be crooks.
    There’s my 25¢ (inflation).

  • jk318318 02/01/2009 8:05am

    Is anyone else proud of the GOP right now?

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/09/2009 4:37am

    I’m proud of all but 3 of them

  • Anonymous 02/02/2009 7:40pm

    “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” This is a quote by President Lincoln. Apparently we are in the process of that very thing. Redistribution of wealth is communisim, at its worst. The sad thing is, that in countries where this exists, the rate of drugs use and alcoholisim is higher than our country, because of the depression that exists for them.

  • Anonymous 02/02/2009 7:40pm

    “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” This is a quote by President Lincoln. Apparently we are in the process of that very thing. Redistribution of wealth is communisim, at its worst. The sad thing is, that in countries where this exists, the rate of drugs use and alcoholisim is higher than our country, because of the depression that exists for them.

  • Anonymous 02/03/2009 7:00am

    I have reviewed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It provides funding for many worthwhile projects. Without doubt it will provide significant relief to many. What it will not do is force an economic change to move us out of our recession which is quickly moving toward a depression.

    If the federal government were to fund immediately $500 billion for infrastructure projects – roads, bridges, buildings – both new and repairs, it seems to me that our current problems with jobs would disappear overnight. There would be a shortage of labor – skilled and unskilled – resulting in higher wages both for the employees of the contractors of the infrastructure projects and for other employers who now had to compete for employees. Meanwhile most of these employees would spend money, as opposed to saving it, creating demand for goods, services and, eventually, housing.

    Ideally, this funding would continue at the same level – $500 billion per year – until the backlog of projects were cleared.

    The funding must be high enough to both create a shortage of employees and to encourage employers to hire people. A level of funding that fails to create employee shortages does not work.

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 seems designed to avoid creating employee shortages.

    I could go into more detail, but I think that the balance of analysis is obvious. Other than inflation (which I believe will eventually occur), complaints by employers (dislike of competing for employees), and political issues (I do not like new roads and buildings because ______”; I would like the money spent on _________, instead of infrastructure”; etc.), I see no downside.

  • Anonymous 02/06/2009 10:53am

    wow no republican votes?

  • Anonymous 02/06/2009 11:49am

    nope, you know they some haters!

  • Anonymous 02/06/2009 11:59am

    thats ok. democrates can handle it them selves.

  • Anonymous 02/06/2009 12:00pm

    the package will hurt our economy, but obama will work his magic…

  • comedyman21 02/06/2009 12:13pm

    The Democrats can do it on there own if the republicans dont want to help.

  • Anonymous 02/06/2009 1:25pm

    Scary time for us right now

  • Anonymous 02/07/2009 4:45pm

    the republicans need to stop messing around and cooperate. we need something to happen asap!

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/09/2009 4:34am

    Republicans need to stop this payoff bill to the unions and groups that supported the democratic party in the election.This bill is garbage and Senators Collins,Snowe and Specter should be ashamed of putting our children’s future at risk for these special interest

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/11/2009 3:16pm

    No, democrats need to let republicans vote their conscience. America is about freedom of choice, or used to be — republican constituents don’t want the damn bill, and for once republicans are listening to them. Good for them!

    You want cooperation? How about letting some of the republicans actually have a voice beyond “yea” and “nay”. Or didn’t you know that the dems are locking them out of the committee meetings? Look it up.

    /Nothing more irritating than arguing with someone who keeps telling you, “You know I’m right, so just agree already so we can put this behind us.”

  • Anonymous 02/08/2009 11:38am

    Undecided: I believe we do need a stimulus package if, funds are earmarked for legitimate reasons. I was appalled when I heard that one issue was for a museum in Las Vegas, Nevada. Monies should be injected into businesses that are currently laying off so that, in turn, they may be able to rehire people and cut down the unemployment rate. In other words, take out all the garbage attached with the bill and make it an “honest” effort to stimulate the economy.

  • Anonymous 02/09/2009 9:37am

    this wont solve the problem

  • Anonymous 02/13/2009 11:52am

    I’m proud of our Senators and Representatives who had the courage to say “No” to this bill. How can money spent on pet projects and on illegal aliens stimulate the economy? Billions are already spent every year on the illegals’ health care, subsidized housing, prison costs and other Human Services Programs that funnel money to illegals, such as WIC and food banks. (Obama’s illegal aunt was herself in subsidized housing in Boston.) This bill augments that spending to the “poor illegals”, and not enough to the hard-working, legal citizens especially those who are now without jobs and homes.

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