January 17th, 2008
04:55 PM ET
10 years ago

Bush rush on stimulus comments peeves Hill Democrats

Bush and Hill Democrats are discussing a stimulus package.

Bush and Hill Democrats are discussing a stimulus package.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some congressional Democrats are criticizing President Bush for his decision to deliver remarks Friday outlining his principles regarding a stimulus package, saying the president should wait until lawmakers and the White House reach a compromise on what will be in the package before anything is unveiled.

One source went so far as to say a conference call between congressional leaders and the White House Thursday afternoon on the stimulus “didn’t go well” because of the president’s insistence on delivering the speech despite direct pleas from Democratic leaders to hold off.

Bush’s decision to go forward is unlikely to stall talks on the bill, one source said, but does detract from the bipartisan spirit that has marked talks this week on the proposal.

Shortly after the call, White House officials called back to congressional participants to ensure them the president’s remarks Friday would be general, according to two sources, including a Democratic leadership source.

The conference call was light on specifics of what should be in an economic stimulus package but “there seems to continue to be a consensus to try and do something together and that we should do it quickly,” the Democratic leadership source said.

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson mentioned accelerating depreciation and the concept of rebates and said “there seems to be an agreement on rebates” the source said.

The White House did not push the notion of extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts which the Democratic leadership source described as “hugely helpful.”

After the discussion with President Bush Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that he was encouraged by the acknowledgement of economic problems, but "disappointed that he is rejecting a request from leaders of both parties and both chambers to work with us directly to develop a bipartisan package rather than unilaterally detailing his own approach without Congressional input.

"The President’s strategy threatens to unnecessarily politicize the inevitable bipartisan negotiations we will need to quickly enact legislation."

UPDATE: Republican and Democratic House leaders emerged from an hour-and-a-half long meeting on the stimulus with very little detail on what will be in the package, but a continuing commitment to get something done quickly together.

Asked about Reid's charge that President Bush is moving ahead unilaterally, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md, said "my impression after the call is that the President's not going to go off unilaterally."

Hoyer said he had not talked directly to the White House about what the President would say, but that others have talked to Secretary Paulson.

House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, brushed off any suggestion that President was getting out ahead of leaders tomorrow with his planned remarks, potentially hurting bipartisan talks on the Hill, saying "all that was resolved.”

"He's going to talk about the problem, the need to respond, the need to work in a bipartisan way and probably outline some broad principles about what we ought to be doing,." Boehner said.

On whether the principles the President will outline match what Congressional leaders are discussing, Boehner said he didn’t know what principles Bush would lay out, but added that “I don’t think they'll be inconsistent with what we've been talking about."

–CNN's Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh

Filed under: Congress • President Bush
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Willy

    Screw the democrats. They had the first 100 hours they took office to get ths ball rolling but they wanted to obstruct the President and rename Post Offices first. I'll be glad when they get voted out of power this year.

    January 17, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. John G Charleston SC

    $10 says the dems try to include a timetable for withdrawl from Iraq and a Rider that criticizes one of our middle eastern allies for something they did over a hundred years ago

    January 17, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Tom, Boston MA

    the democratic leadership is dumber than bush. they pleaded with bush? why oh why on earth?

    why don't they just spell out their own ideas in public and thereby put bush on the spot?????? just in case he agrees and takes the credit? so as to blame bush in case the ideas fail to resuscitate the economy? do they have any ideas of their own?

    either the dems are all in it together with bush, or they are cowardly idiots. how so completely disgusting.

    January 17, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    Ca Native:

    Looks like you're a lonely guy / gal. Yours is the only post which even ineptly defends this tyrannical fascist.

    We Americans have foolishly allowed the Bush administration to rob us of more freedom and privacy than Bin Laden and the entire terrorist network combined!

    January 17, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Common Sense

    CA Native; Are you on something? Bush is going to go down as the worst leader in the history of America. Yet Bill could sit around the office; get a hummer, sign a bill into law and have a 2 hour conversation with a senator about how he was saving our economy and eliminating the deficit for the first time in US history. Bill saved this country while he suffered through Rep. attacks, impeachment for nothing and whatever else goes with being President.

    The bottom line; GW is a sorry example of leadership, and a perfect example of what happens to a country run by corporations, lobbyist and terroist.

    Take a look at GW's history of Cocaine, Alchohol and failure, attached that to his monetary connection with millions of terroist dollars as a Texas oil failure. And then just realize for a moment ........... that you voted for the worst President in the history of the US. The President who 20 years from now may be talked about as the Leader who single handedly caused the end of the United States of America as we know it. Remember the Romans? History repeats itself.

    This is not a game, this is life and my life has never been worse since this man came into office. You should be afraid for your children, think for a second past yourself and realize that your children and mine will be paying for YOUR mistake for as long as they live. Just like we did for our parents mistakes.

    You voted for him, Thats a hell of a legacy for you to hold on to.

    Don't post anymore comments until you learn think freely for yourself.

    January 17, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. Brian

    This should be easy for the Prez and congress to get passed. Look at Obama's plan, pass it and leave out the partisan stuff from Clinton and the congressional republicans.

    January 17, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Robert

    The US dollar has dropped like a rock and the national debt is at scary levels as we're short a billion or two per day. Trying to find $1.5 billion (more debt) to "stimulate the economy" is backwards. The economy is strong when the government gets out of the way by balancing the budget; going farther into debt will make things worse, not better. Look at any national economy in the modern world: countries are prosperous when their government is only spending what it has.

    January 17, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Steve, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    To Ca Native,
    What planet do you live on? The Dems will NEVER get anything done because it won't happen as long as GW is in the White House. He has always done things his way or no way even when the Republicans controlled the Hill. Why would he change now? He can't run again and does not care3 about anyone but hinself and our invicible Vice president Cheney. Bush , Cheney and the Republicans are already getting blamed for the economic problems we are in. The Republicans are well on their way to being toast in 2008 and they know it.. I predict it won't matter who the Democrats nominate. They will win. Everything is sky high and people are hurting. George and his bunch could care less about working people.
    PS–Iowa will be a Blue State again in 2008.. along with alot of others states. that have not been in sometime.

    January 17, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. cary , lowell, in.

    If i recall correctly, there was a $300 rebate check for everyone then there was a $300 rebate for people with children only. Either way, nothing could be more welcome to Americans than a quick $300 in the mail. Let's let Congress have to make do with less of our tax money this year!

    January 17, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. ED WinterPark fl

    Based on the past performances this past year of the democratic house and senate I visualize Bush giving Haliburton and the Texas oil comrades a huge bonus that will later be divided with Cheney and Bush While Pelosi and Reid rant and rave before the TV cameras while allowing the screws to be put to the American public once again. As an always voting Democrat all my life I have never seen such an incompetent congress as this one. We would be better off as a minority . Then the cause of this collapse of the American economy will be obviously contrived by the hate mongering right wingers that are only interested in the wealthy and dodging war service. This most disgraceful administration i have lived under in my 78 Years. Hopefully I will live till the end of this circus.

    January 17, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |

    LOL....George Bush...who?

    January 17, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    I just read a piece about Bush pushing for even more trade deals with Colombia and S. Korea.

    As I've said before, Bush is determined to wreak as much havok as he possibly can against the lower and middle class in his remaining time in office.

    America's leading export -– Our jobs!

    This man listens to no one!

    January 17, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. NickNas

    PULEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE Who here is surprised???????? Honestly.

    January 17, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. mr.fair tax


    January 17, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  15. Bill Culver, Covington,LA

    Bob, Roxboro, N. C. Your commens are about the best anyone could expect coming from someone from your part of the country. After all you people need democrats because they are the champions of welfare handouts. And, wiohout welfare you would disappear.

    January 17, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  16. KC

    Bush won on the war and the dems can not do anything but sit back and watch the genius of Bush (without Rove).
    I am ready to laugh out loud when Bush gives the dems another lesson at the state of the union speech in a few weeks. Funny as heck watching Kennedy, Edwards, Biden and the others get another lecture from someone with higher intellect and better political skills.
    This congress would rather sit around and cry and complain all day and all year like in 2007. Expect Bush to get most of what he wants in 2008 just like in 2007.

    January 17, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  17. Kevin,FL

    I can't believe you guys are still listening to him. He's Old news.

    January 17, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. Ross

    he is the absolute worst president in US history. hopefully hell get a presidential library in baghdad!

    January 17, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. Chris, Jacksonville

    Who is going to pay for this "stimulus package"?

    When does our idiotic addiction to debt end?

    We are not being good stewards of our nation for our children.

    January 17, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Could George Bush be starting to panic over the state of the Union?

    January 17, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  21. Teacher

    Bob,Roxboro,NC....................Dont pick on Ca.................thats 1 of the folks Reagan let out of the nut house in the 80s to make the government SMALLER and less costly.lol

    January 17, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  22. From The North

    In my litle corner of the World we used to think Terror was the Hell's Angels coming to town. Everyone gathered their children, ran for home, locked their doors, and drew their shades. All stayed put untill they heard the sound of Harleys heading out of town. .

    Since George Bush took office, sent our military to Afghanistan and our Royal Canadian Mounted Police forces are busy securing our borders on horse back, we welcome the Hell's Angels and even gave them a meeting place free of charge. The city is trying to pass a bill for ski doo funding so we can entice the Angles to stay year round.

    January 17, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. Former Rightie

    Worse. President. Ever.

    His policies have managed to build up an economic disaster and leaving yet another massive problem for the next administration to clean up.

    January 17, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  24. Kevin

    This is a horrible idea. The government is going to get Americans to spend more causing inflation to get out of control, all to stop a recession from coming which is probably already here and is a natural part of the business cycle anyways. Recessions from time to time are healthy because it keeps the economy from getting ahead of itself. Unfortunately now the Repubs are joining the Dems in offering free goverment handouts to celebrate election season! Glad to see Congress and the President have the country's best interest at heart........

    January 17, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  25. Don

    Thank goodness GW is limited to 2 terms in office. Now he finally sees the light and wants to stimulate the economy when for so long he and his inept aides turned a blind eye to it. He has been a disaster as the leader of our country and we do need change! Unfortunately, no matter who becomes the next President, an equally inept Congress will still be there to tackle such pressing issues like steroids in baseball rather than the economy, social security reform, unprotected borders, etc. Good luck to the next President trying to change things.

    January 17, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
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