Porkulus Maximus: GOP Turncoat Senators Exposed; Final Senate Passage 61-37; Conference Next
It looks like the Senate came up with a deal on the so-called stimulus bill:
Senate Democratic leaders struck a deal with a handful of moderate Republicans late Friday on a leaner economic-recovery package and pushed for a vote after five days of partisan deadlock over a plan that had swollen to $930 billion.
Senate leaders valued the compromise, struck on the same day as the government announced the loss of nearly 600,000 more jobs in January, at about $780 billion, although some aspects of the plan remained unclear late Friday. The deal’s proponents said the new plan would cut spending for an array of projects, such as $870 million for pandemic flu preparedness, included in the earlier House and Senate bills. …
White House aides refused to call [the] cuts a defeat for the president. Instead, one called it “a strategic retreat” to get the bill into House-Senate negotiations and off the Senate floor where it was being picked apart.
“Wait til conference,” another White House aide cautioned. The reference was to the House-Senate conference that will shape the final bill. …
Mr. Reid had to compromise to win the handful of Republicans he needs to swing behind the president’s plan and pass the bill. Democrats control the chamber with a 58-41 majority. But they need Republican support to achieve the 60 votes needed to ensure passage of any measure.
Two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania — endorsed the package, Friday night.
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has been ill, was flying back to Washington Friday night to bolster the vote for the plan.
But Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.) Friday night criticized the compromise plan, and said the plan is “not likely…to produce the results we desire.”
The tenacity of the Republicans’ opposition to the stimulus plan in the House and Senate has appeared to catch the Obama administration off balance.
RedState.com reports on the turncoat Republican Senators:
Multiple sources are reporting that Republican Senators Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins have reached an agreement with Democrats on a final $780 billion version of the so-called “stimulus” package.
Way to sell out your team, folks.
Pamela Geller, Ms. Atlas Shrugs herself, is reporting:
Here are the GOP turncoats. Call now. Call back if it’s busy.
Collins (202) 224-2523
Snowe (202) 224-5344
Specter (202) 224-4254
Update: AtlasShrugs continues to report:
U.S. Senate Contact Information:
SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS
SENATOR OLYMPIA SNOWE
SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER
DC PHONE: (202) 224-4254
DC FAX: (202) 228-1229
HARRISBURG PHONE: (717) 782-3951
HARRISBURG FAX: (717) 782-4920
EMAILS TO CONTACT:
Update: HumanEvents.com relates what’s happening now:
America’s future in freedom hangs in the balance as three RINO senators on Friday announced they will join Democrats in their scheme to move this country irretrievably down the path to socialism. Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have indicated they will vote for the $1.3 trillion “stimulus” spending bill that purposes none other than precisely that outcome. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office ruled that less than 20 percent of the bill could in any way be considered stimulative.
The vote for cloture in the Senate is scheduled for 5:30 pm today. If cloture is invoked, debate would end on the 778-page bill that was not released to the Senate until 11:00 pm Saturday.
At noon on Tuesday the bill will be subject to another 60 vote hurdle by either waiving a budget point of order or achieving 60 votes on final passage. This bill that will ground this country in socialism will have passed the “greatest deliberative body in the world” with only one small window of debate on the bill as actually written on Monday afternoon.
These three Republican senators should forever be held accountable for bringing unfettered socialism to bear on the American people. Remember their names — Specter, Collins, Snowe — and let this forever be their legacy.
Update: The GOP strikes back — Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN):
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):
My question is, aren’t there any Democrats at all who are going to vote “Nay” on this bill?
At least in the House there are significantly more reasonable voices. This is what Rep. John Linder (R-GA) had to say in an email to opponents of the bill in the House:
It is evident that our nation is in the midst of an economic crisis. In order to provide our lethargic economy a much-needed boost, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives introduced H.R. 1, an $825 billion stimulus proposal that attempts to spend our way out of the current recession. While I agree that the Federal government has a role in restoring the prosperity of our nation, it is naive to believe that spending $6 billion weatherizing private homes, $600 million to train physicians to prepare for universal healthcare, $400 million for NASA to study climate change, or $50 million to repair cemeteries – all of which are included in this package, has the capacity to restore and grow our economy. I, along with every Republican Member of Congress, opposed H.R. 1, when it passed the House on January 28, 2009, by a 244-188 roll call vote.
While the terms “hope” and “change” are commonplace in Washington, D.C., these days, uncertainty is what envelops American taxpayers. In fact, the only certainty that exists is that compounded with our existing $10.6 trillion deficit, the long-term costs of this proposal will burden future generations. Even more alarming is the observation from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that only 7 percent of the spending included in the proposal will be realized in 2009, while two-thirds of the spending will occur in 2011, the very year economists forecast the end of the recession. This fact certainly undermines the premise of a stimulus for a timely, temporary, and targeted economic recovery.
I fear that Depression-era spending of this nature will only encourage Depression-era conditions. The cornerstone of an effective stimulus must be jobs; not jobs artificially created by growing the government in both size and significance to individuals’ lives, but private sector jobs where innovation and accountability exist in practice, not solely in theory. Under the Democratic stimulus proposal, 4 million jobs are promised to be created; a noble goal. However, when questioned during consideration of the stimulus bill in the Ways and Means Committee, a representative from the Joint Committee on Taxation could not verify that even a single new job would be created. Even assuming 4 million jobs are created, at a cost of $206,000 per job, this figure is roughly four times the average earnings of private sector employees. This is yet another example of a government plan that offers low results at a high cost; a gamble our sick economy cannot afford.
Instead of taking a nearly trillion dollar gamble, I believe the path to our economic recovery can begin by implementing H.R. 470, the “Economic Recovery and Middle Class Tax Relief Act,” legislation I have co-sponsored which provides tax relief to families and encourages businesses to invest and innovate. Families will experience relief through a 5 percent reduction in income taxes, increased child tax credit, and protection from the Alternative Minimum Tax. Businesses will be able to make projections into the future and create new jobs knowing their tax rates will be stable, investments will be incentivized, and losses can be recovered. Providing individuals and businesses the ability to project for the future brings certainty to the forefront and calms fears. Americans deserve a stimulus that can provide long-term solutions, not just another excessive spending spree by Democratic leadership.
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