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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 6, 2009 - Insanity Reigns

The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and resumed consideration of the economic stimulus legislation (H.R. 1). Votes on amendments will continue today with the possibility of a final vote sometime this evening. Yesterday, the Senate rejected three substitute amendments offered by Republicans. All included middle class tax cuts, cutting the tax rates for Americans in the lowest two tax brackets in half. Voted down were amendments from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), which featured a corporate tax cut, infrastructure spending, and defense spending, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), which featured 4% refinanced mortgages for homeowners, and Sen. John Thune (R-SD), which featured small business tax cuts and a tax credit for health insurance expenses. None of these amendments received a single Democrat vote.

For the third time this week, a poll has come out showing a steep decline in public support for the Democrats’ bloated stimulus package. Like the Gallup and Rasmussen polls, yesterday’s CBS poll showed a 12-point drop in support since early January. (The Gallup poll dropped 14 points since January, while the Rasmussen poll dropped eight points in two weeks). There are several interesting things in the CBS poll. Respondents who are following the bill “very closely” are more likely to oppose the bill than those who are only casually following the bill. In other words, “The more the American people learn about this bill, the less they like it.” Most respondents preferred tax relief to more government spending as the best way out of the current recession by a margin of 59-22. And only 13% said it was okay for the bill to be passed with only the backing of the Democratic majority while 81% wanted a bipartisan vote.

Sen. McConnell said on the floor earlier, “Americans realize that a bill which was meant to be timely, targeted, and temporary has instead become a Trojan horse for pet projects and expanded government.” Little wonder, then, that Democrats continue to show their apprehension about this bill. Politico writes today, “[A]s the Democratic proposal has continued to grow, the backroom talks reflect a nagging nervousness in the majority party about the high cost and the administration’s inability thus far to attract broader support.”

Nervous Democrats have been on TV all week listing their problems with the bill. Yet, The Washington Post reports today, “Despite growing concerns from Republicans and Democrats about the cost of the plan, senators did not reach agreement on which programs to trim. Instead, as the chamber has debated the bill this week, its cost has grown by almost $40 billion, with the tab now at more than $920 billion.” Indeed, only 1 amendment to decrease spending in the bill has received more than 4 Democrat votes.

President Obama stepped into the fray yesterday with a campaign-like speech to House Democrats to argue for passage of the bill. “But,” Politico writes, “[Democrats] acknowledge, some publicly and others privately, that for all of Obama’s popularity and the wide public support for taking steps to boost the economy, getting to final passage has not been easy, clearing a bill with broad bipartisan support is out of the question and the process has not been a pretty one for the new president.” The Wall Street Journal explains, “The president’s tactical turnabout is a response to the Republicans’ remarkable success during the past two weeks both in influencing the congressional debate over the Democrats’ stimulus plan, and shaping a public image of the bill as pork-laden and ineffective.”

Sen. McConnell observed this morning, “From the very first moment of this debate, there’s been strong bipartisan agreement on one thing: the original version of this bill was too big, too unfocused to work. The President, Senate Democrats, and just about every Senate Republican agreed this bill needed a massive overhaul. . . . Virtually everyone agreed this bill lacked focus, didn’t create enough jobs, had too much permanent government expansion, and was just way too expensive with the national debt already reaching frightening new dimensions.”

The bottom line, he said, was “Republicans are ready to support a stimulus bill. But we will not support an aimless spending spree that masquerades as a stimulus.” If Democrats want to pass a bill, there need to significant changes, and so far Democrat congressional leaders have not shown a willingness to trim the fat or reexamine this stimulus plan.
Tags: Congressional Pork, economic stimulus, US Congress, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:12 PM - Post Link

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