Wednesday, January 28, 2009

House Passes Stimulus Bill With No Republican Support

The House passed President Obama's $819 billion stimulus bill by a vote of 244-188, without one Republican vote of support. That's despite the overtures that the president made to GOP lawmakers in terms of addressing their concerns. 

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky states in the video above that the president wanted the package to be "earmark free," as if infrastructure development and federal relief for struggling states in terms of unemployment benefits, health care and education are newfangled ideas cooked up by a Democratic cabal. The one proposal that McConnell refers to, restoring the National Mall, was stripped out of the bill.

McConnell also states that the package, which contains $544 billion in federal spending and $275 billion in tax cuts, still doesn't contain enough–you guessed it!–tax cuts. That Republican panacea supposedly results in a thriving economy–particularly if the cuts go to the wealthiest, who supposedly "trickle down" their billions to the rest of us. That one and only fiscal solution worked wonders over the past eight years, right?

If anything, the plan could use more in the way of infrastructure development, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, who recently reported that the nation's bridges, sewage systems and roads are in dire straits. More investment in those areas, as well as in mass transit, would create more jobs and lay the foundation for future economic development. If the Republicans want to call such investments "earmarks," that's fine.

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