February 1st, 2009
12:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Senators work for bipartisan support on stimulus

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, says she wants to work on changes to the bill to attract moderate Republicans.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, says she wants to work on changes to the bill to attract moderate Republicans.

(CNN) - As the stimulus debate heads to the Senate, some lawmakers say the proposed economic rescue plan doesn't represent the bipartisan spirit that President Obama hoped would be behind it.

The House passed its version of the bill Wednesday, without a single Republican vote. Democrats admit it's going to be a tough fight to get Obama's economic stimulus plan passed with bipartisan support, but they are optimistic it can be done.

In the Senate, Republicans will have more of an opportunity for compromise, by offering amendments to the Democrats' bill. But it's not just Republicans who are unhappy. Some Democrats said the bill includes too many proposals that do not relate to stimulating the economy.

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, oppose the proposal in its current form and want to slash what they call wasteful spending from the bill, so moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats will be more likely to vote for it.

The two senators, known as consensus builders, have spent the weekend scrubbing the bill of spending that does not narrowly target job and economic growth.

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soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Independant Thinker

    I thought that Obama stated to the American people that he would not allow ANY PORK to be in this stimulus package and the the CBO states that 88% of this package is PORK and is only 3% of the stimulus will be enacted before 2011. Obama LIED.

    February 1, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Thinking Straight

    I fail to understand how spending cannot stimulate the economy, but tax break will.

    February 1, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. TrueIndependent

    This is how our system works:
    The House is Kindergarten,
    The Senate is High School.
    The White House is College.

    If the bill does not make sense, Rahm Emmanuel will gleefully mark it 'return to sender'

    I am looking forward to the bill the president will sign, not for my sake, for thank God I am okay, but for the sake of my fellow Americans who are losing their jobs, homes, families, and retirement savings every single day.

    February 1, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Susan Collins is anything BUT bi-partisan. She has been a shill for the Bush White House for the past eight years, working tirelessly to sweep their incompetencies under the rug (particularly in her role as chair of the Senate committee responsible for investigating FEMA's Katrina debacle.) Her recommendations will be nothing more that neo-con re-treads.

    February 1, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Jon Davis

    The best way to put money in people's pockets is to spend most of the money on rebuilding our crumbled infrastructure across the country after eight years of total neglect. That way people will be able to pay their mortgages and feed their families by working.

    February 1, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. S Callahan

    Someone needs to start listening to Nelson and Collins...at least the effort is there to bring most toegther, and accountablity to the public.

    February 1, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. RiggsMD KC,,Mo

    You Lost!

    February 1, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Ken

    Stop the nonsense. Its about being oppositional. Republicans just want more of the same. More of the tax cuts that got us into this mess. Grow up. If you can't work with the team, then get out of the kitchen. We, the People, are fed up with the Washington non-leadership.

    February 1, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Matt, Canoga Park

    Watch and learn Liberals. The Republicans are going to trim away all that Garbage that Barack and Pelosi are trying to shove down our throats and replace it with real jobs. Not hand outs.

    February 1, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Outspoken

    Republicans, if you go along with this idiotic, irresponsible plundering of the U.S. economy, you do not deserve to be a major political party. The democratic majority DOES NOT NEED your support. It seeks your support only so it will have someone to share the blame with when this so-called "stiumus" fails. THIS IS NOT A STIMULUS. IT IS A PORK-LADEN SPECIAL INTEREST PAY BACK from Obama to all the fringe groups and reliably-democratic organizations that bankrolled his campaign. If you republicans allow the dems to seduce you with promises of pork, you are no better than they are.

    February 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. shoegazer

    This is akin to paying off your Visa card with your Mastercard,in turn paying off your Mastercard with your Amex card,following paying off your Amex card with your Diners club card that you now pay off with your freshly paid off Visa card.And on it goes.

    February 1, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Ron Ft. Myers

    Why don't our "leaders" in Washington submit a breakdown of exactly what is in the package and where the money is designated to be allocated and let the taxpayers, the financers of this package, get a look to see exactly where the money is earmarked. I'll bet the majority of the people would agree that there is too much waste and that those opposed are correct to oppose the plan as it is written.

    February 1, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. shannon

    Hey, I'm sure that payment to WWII vets in the Philipines will do great things for our economy here at home, what a joke this has all turned out to be. Tax frauds and lobbyist are the only people who are doing well right now.

    February 1, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Jimmy Acorn

    I'm curious as to why no one has mentioned that Obama lied when he said no earmarks. For him to be a man of his word the Senate should not be the entity to eliminate the wasteful pork in the stimulus package. The President of these United States should be the one to take the initiative and make good on his word.

    February 1, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Good. This bill should be pork free! The idea of a bill without pork is a bill that every body (Or at least the majority) could support. And there could be a bill for almost everything else. We need to get this bill underway ASAP to get folks back to work.

    Remember who will be the ones to get this bill thru and those who want to hold this up for their own reasons, so EVERYONE must do their part... Remember who this is for; Not just for the Dems or the Repubs...It's for the American people and WE VOTE!!!

    February 1, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Steve (the real one)

    Senators Nelson and Collins are demonstrating what true bipartisanship is about. It is not about peddling trash and bullying for support! Let's axe out the fat and get a decent bill that will actually create jobs (to include appropraite tax cuts) and get this country moving forward again! The current bill is only ready for the land fill!

    February 1, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. Terry

    Good for Nelson and Collins for actually reading this Pork Package ....apparently there were only 11 Representatives in the House that did,

    Another thing this job package should apply to... American Citizens and Legal Immigrants only...E-Verify for government contracts and those receiving government money better be in place...and that better include any state receiving a bailout.

    February 1, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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