Stimulus Getting Gutted

3 comments February 4th, 2009at 07:29am Posted by Eli

Passing an ineffective stimulus bill would be a best-case scenario for Republicans.  On the one hand, they can’t be accused of obstruction – but they still reap the political benefits of an economic collapse on Obama’s watch.  No-one will remember that they were the reason the stimulus failed.  As for wanker “moderate” Democrats like Ben Nelson, I’m not really sure what’s in it for them – I think their allegiance is closer to the GOP than to the Democrats.

Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.

(…)

Moderate Republicans are trying to trim the bill by as much as $200 billion, although Democrats working with those GOP senators have not agreed to a specific figure.

(…)

To remove obstacles from the measure’s path, Reid said numerous items could fall by the wayside. “The president, the Democratic leaders, the Republican leaders certainly have every intention of moving forward to getting everything out of the bill that causes heartburn to a significant number of senators,” he told reporters yesterday.

What Senate leaders cannot predict is which provisions will stay in and which will fall out. It also remains unclear whether Democrats are willing to tamper with measures that are considered high priorities for Obama, but that tackle longer-term challenges such as health-care reform and alternative energy development, rather than providing the quick jolt of expanded unemployment and food-stamp benefits and individual tax relief.

The most ambitious effort to cut the bill is being led by Sens. Ben Nelso (D-Neb.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), moderates in their parties who share a dislike of the current version. Collins is scheduled to visit Obama at the White House this afternoon. “I’m going to go to him with a list” of suggested deletions, she said.

Nelson said he and Collins have agreed to “tens of billions” in cuts, although he said he is skeptical that the effort will reach Collins’s target of $200 billion in reductions. The pair has counted up to 20 allies in their effort, with more Democrats than Republicans at this point.

Among the items that the Collins-Nelson initiative is targeting: $1.1 billion for comparative medical research, $350 million for Agriculture Department computers, $75 million to discourage smoking, $20 million in Interior Department funding, $400 million for HIV screening and $650 million for wildlife management.

This would be a lot less frustrating if Congress hadn’t already waved through 700 billion no-strings-attached dollars for Wall Street.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

3 Comments

  • 1. Ruth  |  February 4th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    It took WPA and CCC works projects to get out of the last depression, that serves as a warning to the wingers. If they let jobs get funded, it will be the death knell for tax cuts for rich and businesses. I look to see them oppose ‘stimulus’ to the last ditch.

  • 2. Cujo359  |  February 4th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    These are the same Republicans who watched tens of billions of dollars being wasted in Iraq, with planeloads of money and weapons lost. Am I supposed to be they’re suddenly against waste?

    Reid should just put the bill up for a vote and let the Republicans block it. Let them wear the depression we’re about to fall into.

  • 3. Eli  |  February 4th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I think the Republicans are banking on Obama owning the depression regardless of what they do. After all, he failed to craft a workable stimulus bill that Republicans would vote for, and how is that *their* fault?


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