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. sluggo

    CNN moderators don't let conservative comments get posted.

    January 17, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  2. rw

    Well, what else is new with Bush. Maybe the govt should let the market fix itself, it might teach greedy capitalists on Wall Street to be less greedy. The bonuses in the millions keep getting handed out, only the investors are paying for the mess. What is their next greedy ploy: oil at $200, gold at $2000, other commodities at record prices.

    I do hope the peace road map leads to a Palestinian state and to the inception of an end to violence.

    January 18, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  3. Texan

    Ca native....your are SOOOOOO impecably, precisely spot on correct...could NOT have put it better myself...since AMERICANS have ben successful lately in protecting the Iraqi people from the left's terrorist buddies, they can't crow about all the death and destruction the encourage and promote there..so..now their leftist/foreign French/Canadian owned media (Vicendi Universal et al) have decided that this PEACE thing just won't do...it doesn't leave them something to point fingers at..what? a success in Iraq??? NO MORE IRAQ REPORTING NOW DARNIT ALL!!! SO we must now CREATE a financial crisis using our foreign owned media to make everyone SELL SELL SELL at every "news report" we peddle to them to dribe the markets down so we can now have a NEW "crisis" to point fingers at...THE ECONOMY *that us LEFTISTS just forced to tank and cost MANY AMERICANS OF ALL RACES RELIGIONS COLORS GENDERS AGE AND POLITICAL STRIPE's savings/investment accounts..saving for that home? Retirement? Thanks French/Canadian owned/operated Democrat Partiquais...it's going to be a LONG time now for us REGULAR WORKING CLASS AMERICANS to build those accounts back up...THANKS FOR YOU FEAR MONGORING TO WIN AN ELECTION DEMOCRATS 😦 ...freaks. You cut OUR noses off to spite the Republican's face...how THOUGHTFUL of you "enlightened/progressive" freaks of nature. At least GWB is trying to help fix the problem that Pelosi/Clinton et al caused.

    January 18, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  4. Texan

    sluggo. very true statement. they've nixed the last dozen or so I have submitted due to not being overly supportive of their Democrat/French-Canadian financiers.

    January 18, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  5. Steve, Lyons, CO

    The only reason Bush even gives a crap is, it now looks like he'll leave the economy in a recession, besides it already being highly stacked against the middle and lower class.

    Watch: see how many of Bush's suggestion for stimulus go to rich boy crap like a lower tax on dividends and investments.

    Read OUR Lips: Relief for, and solely for, the MIDDLE and LOWER classes in America.

    The rich can sit back and count their money this time. Dubya Warbucks has already richly rewarded rich people beyond sanity. Also, ZERO money – none – of the stimulus going to the corporations, especially oil corporations, responsible along with President Enabler in destroying the powerful economy and budget SURPLUS Bill Clinton gift-wrapped for the Republicans.

    I better never hear again how DEMOCRATS are the big spenders. The most irresponsible economic losers in history, the ones who've caused such unbelievable debt for anyone – and folks, they don't even figure in the costs of this illegal Iraqi war – is this criminal administration and its spineless party in Congress.

    We and our kids'll be paying this useless nightmare for decades, not to mention trying to restore the freedoms urinated away by the rich, corporate and authoritarian under this Worst. President. Ever. and his Goebbels clone, Cheney the Thug.

    January 18, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  6. Bob

    W – what an incompetent disgrace

    Let's see – he's given us $3.00 + gas, a war to bring democracy to a tribal area that has been in conflict for 3000 years (and now he says we should expect to be in Iraq for up to 50 years like South Korea), a human and economic disaster in New Orleans, he has damaged our alliances and at the same time caused our enemies to unite, Spent all of the surplus, given us deficits as far as the eye can see, divided us as a country more than ever, commuted the sentence of his vice presidents chief of staff for outing a CIA operative (whose husband correctly pointed out that there were no WMD's in Iraq), and still not found Bin Laden, he introduced testing for all students in schools (including special ed. students who cannot talk dragging down the schools scores), he requires that researchers studying everything from Global warming to education curriculum site only studies that agree with his beliefs, and now he has given us a recession which will increase the deficit and damage many people's 401k (at least the dems did not allow social security to invest in the stock markets) but as the decider in chief won't work with the congress to come up with a way to solve this crisis (like we feel great about his judgement). Like the great humanitarian Newt Gingrich said in 2006 America – Had Enough?

    January 18, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  7. Richard

    Stop with the tax breaks for the rich and the corporations!! see thats all republicans like bush care about.

    how about tax breaks for individuals making under 50k. they are the ones who shop at wal mart and pump money into the economy.

    January 18, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  8. David Crosby

    Why don't you all just resign? White House, Congress,Courts, Pentagon, Federal Agencies,Press.. pretty much the whole bunch. You seem pretty well worthless to us here in the West. There is not one singular domestic or foreign situation, that you haven't gotten so messed up , they may well be impossible for any subsequent generations to fix! Job security for Ivy leaguers maybe? That would be the best economic incentive since the revolution. Keep up the great work.
    And this new bunch that wants in the White house is just the same old sad story. If the rest of us were so inept and morally challenged we'd be unemployed or in jail.

    January 18, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  9. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg MD

    This economic melt-down is not going to go away because of an irresponsible game of fiscal Three Card Monty. Maybe Chinese and UAE superfund investors are faintly interested, but the only use I have of these schemes is the entertainment value from a President explaining how it's good for me. That being said, reducing interest rates and taxes on industry will only go to those responsible for Illegal Immigration, Predatory Mortgage Loans, Lost Manufacturing Base and High Energy Prices.

    The real fix here is for the President (through the Federal Government) to go into these business operations and enforce the laws. They have had enough time being coddled and rewarded; let's see some action – Martha Stewart style perp walks and long prison sentences.

    January 18, 2008 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  10. Tom

    It doesn't matter what Bush says either way because there will be no true bipartisanship. True Bipartisanship would actually have to include more of the moderate and conservative Republicans and not just the most liberal Republicans like McCain who have no problem putting there name on crap to get some recognition.

    Of course this article just goes to show you that the Democrats ignore the fact that there is quite a bit that Bernanke can do to address the situation with or without their approval of his actions.

    January 18, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  11. mark wilkes barre pa

    Just another story to show how hillary is defiant of bush policy,,, trouble is she would have no problem asking the same thing and will ,, If she is elected

    January 18, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  12. mark wilkes barre pa

    CNN,,, dont let comic stip characters get posted

    January 18, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  13. def, Norfolk, Va

    Hey George.., here's a great idea to stimulate the economy. Disband the IRS, and create the "flat tax". Let's say.., 8% state and federal income tax on every american's gross pay.., and those who don't pay – go to jail (no bond until they pay). Oh – and no auditors either – just collectors.

    January 18, 2008 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  14. brian, houston tx

    Yes, by all means lets extend the tax cuts and continue the economic policy that has got us into this mess. I mean does anyone take this guy seriously anymore? 6.2% inflation last year? Did anyone get that type of raise last year?

    Let's see:

    1. Lower the tax rate for corporations so that their profits increase and then they can provide a dividend to shareholders thus benefiting only those with enough money nowadays to actually invest.


    2. Provide a tax cut or rebate to actual families who will then take that money and spend it at the store thus increasing the sales traffic of said corporations who then in turn have to hire more people, etc.

    Seems I like the Dems idea better.

    January 18, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  15. Thomas

    Looks like George Bush is leaving yet another debacle in his wake. Too bad this one affects the whole country.

    January 18, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. Tired of W, OH

    Ca Native, you are a sad, sorry little man (or woman).

    The Democratic-controlled Congress can't get anything done because the Repubs and dubya continuously block them. Whenever the Dems try to pass a good piece of legislation (like SCHIP), dubya vetoes it because the Dems don't have a large enough majority to override the veto. The fact is that dubya and his Repub puppets don't want the Dems to accomplish anything because they don't want the Dems to be able to claim progress going into an election year.

    I know it's easier to spew the same old White House-issued rhetoric about a do-nothing Congress than it is to actually think for yourself, but try it. They are sacrificing the needs of the American people for the sake of politics!

    January 18, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. JT

    Bush will deliver his annual agenda-shaping State of the Union speech this month.
    It is fun to watch Kennedy, Biden and the other Dems sit and watch and learn from Bush

    The two sides may be in a bipartisan mood in 2008 with congress approval numbers lower than Bush. Oh sorry, there is another impeach Bush movement this week. The dems do not know what to do to help this country.

    Bush won on the war in 2007 and will win again with the tax refund in 08.

    January 18, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. Common Sense

    Go to Jail until you pay? I am for a flat tax, however "Go to jail until you pay" is the same law that already doesn't work in State Child Support issues. Don't pay your support, go to jail – where is the common sense in that. How will pay your taxes if you are locked up? Collect cans from the prison yard. It's the same backwards sense that says suspend someones drivers license for not paying. How will they get to work?

    Jails are for real criminals, how about this the cost to Jail someone for not paying taxes would be as much as the taxes. So you are locking them up – so they cannot earn any money to pay taxes and then you are paying to put them up with 3 squares a day. While I respect your idea and agree in principal, jailing people for not paying taxes is just silly and would lend to a large volume of overcrowding, mixing axe murders with factory workers who missed their tax filing deadline.

    Now if you open to both changing the tax system and eliminating the burden in our prisons; I have a win-win for all of us.

    Let us create your 8% flat tax, and eliminate the IRS (no auditors) and simply take the 8% from Americans pay and thats that. In addition, bring our boys and girls home from Iraq and replace them with Violent Criminals from our many over crowded prisons. I have been told by many service men, their orders are to kill anything that moves when they are over in Iraq. Why not give the job free of charge to people who have shown already they have no moral compass.

    This would eliminate the war as an issue, no one cares about prisoners. The prisoners have a chance to redeem themselves, although they would not be permitted back in the US hence removing a portion of our bad eliment. Taxes would be settled, the tax burden to the governement would be reduced by the removal of the prisoners from the system and the return of all our military personel hence eliminating the $500,000.00 per minute cost of this war.

    Americans pay less taxes – Cost to run prisons goes down – war is less costly and safer for the future of America; our childrem.

    January 18, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Common Sense

    No to mention we can now address real issues, like jobs and imagration, etc. Instead of looking for answers to questions that are already answered.

    January 18, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    Economic stimulus package? Our economy is tanking because Americans are losing jobs and inflation is eating up their disposable incomes. These stimulis packages address either. Bernanke could lower interest rate again at the risk of inflation getting completely out of control. Think of the economy as a swimming pool, if you take water out of the deep end with a bucket and dump it in the shallow end, it doesn't make the pool any deeper. All that really does is give the Bushies power base, corporate, and foreign interest a pat on the back. Our country is basically a clearance sale right now for foreign interests. Good bye middle class, as for the bottom of the barrel, well I hope you like cat food. The globalists knew this would happen and it is happening by design. Read the FBI's twenty year estimate on globalization and it's effect on the American economy. There will be clear winners and losers, the lower class will be hit hardest, and many Americans will be radicalized, violence and protest will be unavoidable as resources dwindle and inflation makes necessities unaffordable. They have planned for these contingencies, that is why our police and national guards look like de-facto military, because they are. Their police state control apparatus can break up even large scale civil unrest, and they know it. They have sound weapons that can rupture a man's eardrums at a hundred yards. Don't worry their protecting us from the terrorists remember?

    January 18, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. charlotte

    Let me get this straight, the government is going to give me back some of my tax dollars. I already paid taxes on once, so I have to claim the rebate as income to be taxed again. Double taxation? This could turn out to be just enough to throw me into the next tax bracket, thus costing me more in the long run. How many of you have recieved a pay raise, only to bring home less then your were? "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts." Or should I say Geeks. I will save my rebate so I can pay the taxes again. We had a surplus prior to the last rebate. We now have a major deficit. Where is this money going to come from? If I have to borrow money from someone, how can I turn around and loan it to someone else? Doesn't sound like good judgement to me. Unless the person I loaned it to turns around and buys from me, thus helping me, while they still owe me. Convoluted, you bet!

    January 18, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. RightyTighty

    I've never heard a lame duck quack so loud..

    Ha Ha!!

    January 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Common Sense

    JT – didn't Bush run in the 2000 election on "How the Clinton tax cuts may have destroyed the economy" –

    Now he is electing to support tax cuts – You can stick your head in the ground as long you as wish. When it all comes to an end, and you pull your head from the ground you may just find that your support and your party destroyed the very fabric of our existence.

    Remeber History repeats itself, Rep. start wars and create debt, everyone else cleans it up while the Rep. sit around enjoying the money they stole from America and it's people. I am still wondering what GW did what that 30 million from Bin-Ladens brother in the early 90's – what do you think that was for? Lets give George 30 Million and he doesn't have to pay it back. Seems a little fishy, you should watch who you support, you may be the one left holding the bag when they are out of office.

    January 18, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Let's situmlate the economy with a infusion of cash. But Geroge what killed the economic growth to begin with? What, what was that, oh yes , the high cost of energy, what, was that, you tryed to fix it with the Saudi's and when was that George, you have not listened to anyone for 8 years and now we are suppose to thank you for trying to take action on a situation a blind man saw coming years ago. Amazing, 12 more months god I can not wait to be a year older this year.

    January 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. libby

    How about all you cowards, above, give your rebate back!
    Your so brave calling the Presidents all kinds of names,
    Your all a bunch of cowards, there is no substance to
    your argument, only name calling. Go back to school and
    get an education.

    January 18, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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