Will Republicans In The Senate Pass The Stimulus? Posted by: McQ
on Thursday, January 29, 2009
Republicans stepped up yesterday and unanimously voted no on a pork laden monstrosity they were unable to amend or debate. I'd call that being responsible. Of course, the left is calling it many other less flattering things as you'd expect.
But to this point, this turkey of a bill belongs lock stock and barrel to the Democrats. And as Dale discusses below, it is a massive load of borrowing pointed in the wrong direction.
The question is, however, once it reaches the Senate, will we see the same sort of Republican solidarity there as we saw in the House?
My bet has been "no". I continue to assert that the bill will pass the Senate only with Republican help and that such help will be forthcoming. At least one of them, possibly more, will break ranks.
To bolster my assertion, I offer this from my local rag about two Republican Senators:
Chambliss and Isakson —- and their Senate colleagues —- will next week try to amend the $819 billion economic stimulus proposal the House passed Wednesday. Neither senator supports the House version of the package, but they and other members of Congress agree that the government needs to do something quickly to jump-start the economy.
“Once it gets to the Senate, you will see some more Republican ideas injected into the package because they [Democrats] would like to have Republican votes,” Chambliss said Wednesday just before he spoke to the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business in Atlanta. “But unless they raise the tax credits from about 35 percent of the package to somewhere around [the] 45 percent or 50 percent range, I doubt you’ll see many Republican senators voting for it.”
Now I'm actually somewhat pleased about one part of this - the demand that the bill raise tax credits to somewhere around 45 to 50% (although I prefer straight up tax cuts as the method of choice for stimulating the economy).
But even if that target percentage is met, the deficit spending will remain. That's unacceptable. However my fear, and the basis for my bet, is they'll cave on that based on the false premise that "the government needs to do something quickly to jump-start the economy" and that something must involve massive deficit spending.
Or put another way, they'll end up voting for it even if they aren't successful in eliminating much of the spending or expanding the amount of tax cuts. I think much of that has to do with the atmosphere of profound crisis that has been created in DC and the belief, unwarranted in my estimation, that only government can solve the crisis.
Few if any of the Republican amendments are going to find approval in the Senate. As the WSJ pointed out, Harry Reid and Nancy Peolsi have a 40 year old liberal wish list and this is the chance of their political lifetime to see it come to fruition.
This is supposed to be a new era of bipartisanship, but this bill was written based on the wish list of every living — or dead — Democratic interest group. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." So they did. Republicans should let them take all of the credit.
I absolutely agree with the last sentence. I simply have no confidence that will happen.
Consequently I offer this poll where you too can register your lack of confidence (or not) and we'll see who is right.