Just once, I'd like to see this new Congress (and the leftovers from the last one) actually think with their heads and use common sense, instead of listening to their baser, craven natures and doing what they think they need to do to keep their cushy jobs.
Last night the House of Representatives pushed through the next portion of the bailout bill, packed tight with Dem/Lib pork ready to be taken to home districts and fried up for the masses ... which is what we all expected of an 'economic stimulus' package, right?
From the AP via the New York Slimes and then the Register Guard "the" newpaper for the Willamette Valley:
House passes stimulus package Prodding from the president helps persuade Democrats to approve it
Published: Jan 28, 2009 09:37PM
As a piece of legislation, the two-year package is among the biggest in history, reflecting a view in Congress that urgent fiscal help is needed for an economy in crisis.
But the size and substance of the stimulus package remain in dispute, as House Republicans complained that it tilted heavily toward new spending instead of tax cuts.
All but 11 Democrats voted for the plan and 177 Republicans voted against it. The 244-188 vote came a day after Obama traveled to Capitol Hill to seek Republican backing, if not for the package then on coming issues.
OK, this part I just loved, being from this guy's congressional district:
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who has been critical of the stimulus plan, voted in favor along with Oregon’s three other House Democrats. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., voted no.
DeFazio said he’s unhappy with the package, but hoped it would get better in the Senate.
“I don’t normally depend upon the Senate to improve things, but I’m hoping that they will,” he said.
DeFazio was among a group of lawmakers who folded an additional $3 billion into the bill for mass transit projects.
The congressman said those were the sorts of investments he would like to see more of. “My bottom line is that all this money is borrowed. If you’re going to borrow money you should show a benefit for future generations.”
He doesn't normally depend on the Senate to improve things?? He's hoping they'll "improve things"??? What the heck does that even mean? Does he want them to add even more than the additional $3 billion he and his cohorts "folded into" the bill? Is he hoping they'll vote it down because he didn't have the cojones to vote against it, even though he "was unhappy with it"??
Perhaps the only reason he was "unhappy with it" was because he didn't think it went far enough. Yeah, he probably want ObaMao to bail him out and let him start driving a new car instead of that 1960s POS he drives around the valley. Oh, and he wants to see butterflies and rainbow-farting unicorns shower us all with happy dust while he's at it.
Obama, in a statement hailing the House passage of the plan, did not take note of the partisan divide but signaled that he expects changes to be made in the Senate that might attract support.
“I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan before it gets to my desk,” he said. “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.”
What all the jockeying means at the local level remains uncertain. For example, school districts in Lane County might see a cumulative $30 million over two years as a result of the stimulus plan. Most school officials haven’t determined what the local impact might be.
Brett Yancey, director of business operations for the Springfield School District, said it’s unclear how much bearing his district’s estimated $9 million share of the package would have on a looming budget shortfall for next year. Based on the state’s December forecast, the magnitude of cuts in Springfield would total at least $7.5 million, he said — and there’s good reason to believe anticipated state revenues will diminish further.
“We welcome any resources — in the kind of deprivation we’re in, we need all the help we can get,” he said.
But the federal funds have lots of strings attached, he said. Nearly $3.5 million of Springfield’s share is earmarked for “shovel-ready” construction, which districts typically pay for through capital bonds separate from the general operating fund.
The failure to win Republican support in the House seemed to echo the early months of the last Democratic administration, when President Clinton in 1993 had to rely solely on Democrats to win passage of a deficit-reduction bill that was a signature element of his presidency.
Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, had met the night before at the White House with 11 moderate House Republicans, none of whom ended up supporting the bill. “The most important number here for this recovery plan is how many jobs it produces, not how many votes it gets,” Emanuel said.
As Senate Democrats prepare to bring their version of the package to the floor on Monday, Democrats from the House and the administration indicated that they ultimately would accept a provision in the emerging Senate package that would adjust the alternative minimum tax to hold down many middle-class Americans’ income taxes for 2009. The provision was not in the House-passed legislation.
Its cost would drive the overall package’s tally to nearly $900 billion. That would exceed the roughly $850 billion limit that Obama has set for Congress, according to House Democratic leadership aides, and leave no room for other proposals that senators of both parties are sure to seek during Senate debate next week.
While the House and Senate measures are similar, they are likely to differ in ways that could snarl a conference committee and delay getting a measure to the president. House and Senate Democrats are split over how to divide $87 billion in relief to the states for Medicaid, with senators favoring a formula more beneficial to less populous states.
Democrats also are under pressure from the White House to be open to proposals from Senate Republicans who might support the final legislation if their interests are accommodated, and which might draw a few House Republican supporters on a final vote.
The provision on the alternative minimum tax, for example, was a top priority for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who successfully added it during the Finance Committee’s work on the legislation on Tuesday.
Democrats’ goal is to have the stimulus package, which is about two-thirds new spending and one-third tax cuts, to Obama’s desk by Feb. 13.
Democrats voluntarily drop-ped from the package several provisions that Republicans had singled out for derision in recent days, including money to restore the Jefferson Memorial and for family planning programs. But the day’s debate contrasted with the president’s conciliatory gestures.
The House voted down several Republican proposals, including a substitute package made up entirely of tax cuts for individuals and businesses. That tax-cut-only approach was defeated on a mostly party-line vote of 266-170.
By another party-line vote, of 270-159, the House rejected a GOP plan to delete a number of spending programs and to add instead $36 billion for highway construction, more than doubling the $30 billion in the bill, and $24 billion for Army Corps of Engineer projects.
Register-Guard reporter Anne Williams contributed to this report.
“I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan.”
— President Obama
Hmmmm ... the guy got elected shouldn't he finally start saying what he actually means?? Doesn't he mean "I hope we can continue to strongarm this plan through the process"???? Do the Libiots in Congress have any concept that their constituents want this stupid bailout bill because they think it will actually help Americans who've fallen on hard times? Or do they really think their constituents just want them to pass every bit of leftover pork that's been sitting around for the last 40 years as a bone to throw
at to them in supposed appeasement?
People start paying attention and start tapping good conservatives and more moderates with decent common sense ... those are the people we need to send to Washington. Let's vote out the current bums and put in some new blood.
2010 here we come!