January 21st, 2009
01:29 PM ET
11 months ago

House GOP leaders want changes in Dems' $825B bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republican leaders Wednesday asked for a meeting with President Obama on Thursday to offer major changes to the $825 billion economic recovery package proposed by House Democrats last week.

"The challenge as we see it is to create a plan that helps middle class taxpayers and small businesses without wasting money or exploding our national deficit," the leaders wrote in a letter to the new president. "We believe the economic recovery plan should primarily create real, long term jobs, encourage entrepreneurs, and help average Americans keep more of their money to save and invest."

Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget committee, slammed
the Democrats' proposal.

"We can do better than this. We have to do better than this. This bill is not worthy of our new president's signature," he told reporters Wednesday.

Ryan argued that the bill should be aimed at creating jobs in 2009, and cited a GOP analysis of the plan that finds that less than 10 percent of the spending doesn't occur until 2010 or later.

The Wisconsin Republican argued that the main tax provision in the Democrats' plan - cutting payroll taxes - was not an effective way to jump-start the economy.

Republicans want a greater focus on incentives for businesses to create more jobs, instead of direct spending on infrastructure projects.

The Democratic proposal was created at Obama's urging. Last week, Obama
said the plan will save or create up to 4 million jobs and invest in health care, energy and education, among other priorities.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence declined to say whether the Democrats' package would get any Republican support if it didn't change significantly.

Pence said Obama told him at the luncheon following the inauguration Tuesday he wanted to discuss a broad range of issues with House Republicans.


Filed under: Economy • House
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Rod

    I can't think of a better way to jump start the economy than cutting payroll taxes. That gives the American worker more money in his pocket immediately. Also, rebuilding the infrastrucure will create thousands of new, good paying jobs while replacing our aging infrastructure. Paul Ryan is part of the problem ......lead, follow or get out of the way.

    January 21, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. BB

    Election 2010 – vote any of the obstructionist republicans out. We need our country back on the correct track.

    January 21, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Mari

    **********WARNING TO REPUBLICANS********

    YOU HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT WITH AN 83% APPROVAL RATING.

    WE THE PEOPLE SPOKE LOUD AND CLEAR.

    WORK WITH AND COOPERATE OR THE REST OF YOU WILL BE OUT OF OFFICE!

    January 21, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. James

    You sheep make me ill. Republicans have made a wreck of things generally speaking, but the idea that they should just sit down and vote yes to everything Obama and their Democratic colleagues put forward, no questions asked, is horrific. You lemmings should get a freaking clue.

    January 21, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Chris

    The problem I have with their alternative "solutions" is that they are just asking for things to remain the way they have basically been over the past 8 years. It sounds like instead of wanting a payroll tax cut they want a corporate tax cut because they believe that a company that has more money will automatically share that wealth with their employees! Well, I am sorry to say, but that NEVER happens. When you give a corporate tax cut all the company does is pocket the money as profit. It doesn't make them hire more people or give raises. I don't know where they get these old fashioned ideas from! The payroll tax, on the other hand, goes directly into the pockets of American citizen without needing to come from businesses. This will help us be able to spend more on the goods and services that these companies are offering. Also, I don't understand their objection to investing in infrastructure. It is something that has been lacking for, sadly to say, even longer than the Bush years. We need to turn that around, and if we can kill two birds with one stone, then why not?!?

    January 21, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Tony in Maine

    The American people are really tired of being trickled on. It's been going on since the Reagan coronation has has done nothing but further enrich those already wealthy.

    Maybe it's time to send what's left of the Republican Party to some place they'll be appreciated – Singapore maybe?

    January 21, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. R in Maine

    Hey, GOP. Count your votes.

    January 21, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. dave

    this is no suprise ...they will try to derail the democrats at every turn... republicans are just playing the same "Palin" games of politics as usual....

    January 21, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Jim

    Some of you need to go back to school. None of this will work until the american people get off their collective rumps and try to make it work. We are here because we let congressmen/women and senators take hold and do what they wanted. I looked at this package and frankly it is pouring good money after bad. This "stimulus" will not be very stimulating. The majority of people it will help are the illegals. Most of the american people do not want to work.

    January 21, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. David

    And we care about Ryan's opinion why? I heard 3 economists on the radio today say that a payroll tax freeze was the best fastest way to go, especially if it includes the employers part of the tax. Or we could go with the Republican way of coming up with complicated tax rules that would hopefully give employers incentives to hire. They have had 8 years and there way has not worked. Time for change.

    January 21, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Len

    Let us please remember: The economic disaster was created by the Bush Administration and the Repulicans. Over a trillion dollar defiect, two reasons: The Irag War and Tax cuts for the wealthy and big business. LET us Not Forget!
    In 2010 , please vote all Repulicans out of office.

    January 21, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. danel

    Where is this resistance during the 6years of the GOP control? Instead of rubber stamping Bush they could be more agressive then.

    January 21, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Robin

    Mari,

    I won't bash the president. But just rememeber Bush had an approval rating in the 90s at first. Time will tell. My question is where are we getting 825B? And who pays it back and when?

    January 21, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. believe

    don't let the republicans touch our money ever again.

    January 21, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Mari January 21st, 2009 3:48 pm ET

    **********WARNING TO REPUBLICANS********

    YOU HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT WITH AN 83% APPROVAL RATING.

    WE THE PEOPLE SPOKE LOUD AND CLEAR.

    WORK WITH AND COOPERATE OR THE REST OF YOU WILL BE OUT OF OFFICE!
    -----------------------------–

    I totally agree with you Mari, the Republicans about to start this mess attempting to muck up this bill better realize that we, the voters that elected Obama, are going to be watching THEM and we WILL take note of those who try to obstruct, mangle, or radically change this plan to suit their lobbyist friends and big business. We WILL speak loud and clear again in 2010 when that time arrives consequently.

    January 21, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    GOP, blah, blah blah!!!!!

    January 21, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. legal in nc

    Do you lefties not remember that YOUR president said that he want to hear from both sides of the aisle???

    We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship so therefore what the repubs are doing is legal and shows great concern for our country.

    January 21, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Moe, NY

    Back off Republicans/NeoCons....we tried it your way...it did not work in case you haven't noticed. Either lend a helping hand or get out of office, America cannot afford anymore obstructionists....nor do we want anymore pork added to pending bills in the future. This is a new era and your old ways are not welcomed.

    January 21, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. CA Indie for Obama

    OOPS!!..my bad....math miscalculation

    $1 billion = $1,000 X 1,000,000 tax payers.

    January 21, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |