February 1st, 2009
12:40 PM ET
6 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. BB

    It (the scrubbed version) had better be good. The republicans cannot continue to say NO just for the sake of saying it.

    Their decisions for many many years led to most of this mess, and now they have ideas on how to fix it? Why didn't they AVOID IT?

    February 1, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Griff

    Whatever you do: it is not going to work. Too-many negatives.
    In a Cat-Fight, they both run away with their Tail, between their legs...

    February 1, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. pat C.

    i am a democrat and i love my president,however i also think the bill has to much fat in it. some things just need to be left out untill the economy is not front and center on everyones mind. this is where the republicans can prove themselves in being smart and wanting to work with president obama.

    February 1, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. moose from maine?

    If Sarah Palin had Susan Collins good looks,I dont think Sarah would ever have been heard from again.

    February 1, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Average Joe

    Lets have the same bipartisanship as the republicans did with the democrats.Thats all they deserve.Its time we learn from history and go back to the tax chart from the 1950's and 1960's.Its a fact america grew the most when corporations had a high tax.They reinvested and everything grew.

    February 1, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Mary-Florida

    The reality is it is only a few republican senators that appear to be looking for a bi-partisan bill, all the rest of this is just empty rhetoric and empty promises and the same old thing in Washington.

    February 1, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Alicia

    I am praying that the SENATE Republicans are sincere. I have a feeling they will put the country before re-election.

    February 1, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Simmy

    How dare you Sen. Collins! "Changes to attract moderate Republicans?" Aren't you people supposed to be Americans first?You Republicans are determined to undermine President Obama. You want him to fail, so that as someone else said, you can say "We told you so." Newsflash: It won't happen! He and the "wise"Democrats will step over you. This country will rise again, inspite of you rabble-rousers! Americans are looking for problem solvers, not problem creaters. Wake up lady, and feel the pulse of the people!!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Steve

    It's about time the moderates in the Republican Party take the party back over again. Allowing the party to be lead around by the nose by the religious radical right, and self-serving, pompous idiots like Rush Limblah-blah has fractured the party, lost a presidential election, and lost majorities in the House and the Senate.

    Oddly enough, those that have cause the problems still don't get it. It's time to give them their walking papers, and get people in those seats who actually want to work across the aisle to fix things in a reasonable and moderate way that doesn't pander to corporations and the hyper-wealthy.

    I have no problem with people being well-paid for good work, and given bonuses for exemplary work. I do have a problem to see that, while I am struggling to pay my bills, financiers who just asked me for a loan are now rewarding themselves for the collapse of their industry.
    This has to stop. Let's get some Republicans in who actually want to serve the majority of people in this country, and who can do something besides following the orders of loud-mouthed, cigar-sucking (I won't even begin to go into what that means to a psychologist) fat-butted self-proclaimed "leaders" of thought.

    February 1, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Deb

    I think the GOP rather listen to Rush than to work together for the good of the country. When an elected official feels the need to apologize to someone like Limpbaugh that speaks volumes for the party they represent......HOW SAD!!!

    February 1, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Angie

    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.

    _______________________________________________________
    Sound like there are actually some politicans working for the people that elected them. Where was the bipartisan spirit when the moron bush was in office? he and the repubs just steam rolled everything and everybody. Nice to see compromise in Washington and a president that is for ALL Americans and not just a chosen few. Stay on them President Obama.

    February 1, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Dem in HI

    I agree with these Senators. The current bill is rife with pork and items that have nothing to do with reviving the economy. It is time to get the pork out of the bill and vote for what is need to get the country on the road to recovery. If Senators do not want to vote for a bill because it does not have pork, it is time to identify the fools and vote them out. Besides, I noticed Congress voted themselves their pay raise, the press never covered that story either.

    I would like to know when Congress is going to force the banks to lower interest rates down to 3 percent. If the banks won't do it, then it is time for the Federal Reserve to get involved. There is no reason for mortgage rates to be at 5 to 6 percent right now. Another story the press is not covering.

    February 1, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Deb

    The only answer the GOP have is cut taxes and whatever Obama is for, oppose it. What good is cutting taxes when you don't have a JOB!!!! Repubs are more concerned about Rush being happy than working together to get this country on track...HOW SAD!!!

    February 1, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Good for them! This is a great example of people should be doing. The House Democrats are behaving badly but the House Republicans pouting and posturing is very unattractive and unhelpful to.

    I wonder what the atmosphere would have been like today IF the Republicans had made the past 8 years in the house less politically partisan and more WWJD?

    February 1, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. New Day

    Great! The more people involved, the better the finished product will be. I don't care who comes up with the most ideas as long as the bill helps the economy rebound. Feels like "change" to me.

    February 1, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. I think the senators need to check with Steele

    the wise one of the GOP said bipartisanship is overrated

    I think the GOP senators are out of step

    February 1, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher

    I like Nelson's comment that there is very little pork but a few sacred cows in the bill. Sounds like they're planning a barbecue!!! Hopefully, they can rid the bill of the animals and help our President with his challenges.

    February 1, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Eugene

    Great to have some constructive moderate voices of the GOP and Democrats finally standing FOR something as opposed to standing against everything.

    February 1, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Mountain Jeep

    OK, let's compromise... you create a "bill" to send the Americans $5000.00 each, and then we won't have to get a "bill" from you. Sound fair? (It's probably cheaper anyhoo.)

    February 1, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. sky

    I am finding it difficult to admire the Republicans, even though I would like to give them that chance, because they are still more concerned about their own party than they are the fate of our nation.

    February 1, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Jake Bryant

    This article does not have sufficient sources for the claims it is making. The claim
    "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."
    Requires more than one Democratic Senator making negative claims about the stimulus bill. The only evidence for this claim is the opposition of Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The statement "One Democrat says the bill...." would be supported, but unless there are other Democratic Senators who were willing to voice their opposition this article makes claims that are unethical according to generally accepted standards of journalism.

    February 1, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. arivera

    Maybe this can be the start of some kind of accountability. There has been none for many years. Bush never put his veto pen to anything the republican house and senate did. Yet their are republicans still blaming everything on democrats. These people have no intention of any kind of bipartisanship.

    February 1, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. V Marie

    Many of us trying to understand why this absurd catering to the Republicans is continuing on at this point. Their ideas about the economy is what got us into this mess. These Republicans are going to water down Pres. Obama's stimulus package so it will be just like what the Republicans like? Yea, let's work real hard here to go in circles and end up right back where we were the last 8 years....in Republican hell. Let us appease those partisan, greedy Republicans because the thing more important that stimulating the economy, saving our planet and change we can believe in, is that they think Pres. Obama is a cool, non-partisan kind of guy. They aren't that deep.

    February 1, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. WIlly Brown

    1. Strip out all P-O-R-K!
    2. Do not use it as a payback for votes Nancy & Harry.
    3. Forget about the whole thing and just adopt the Fair Tax HR25 bill and you will see a huge turn around. I know it would take away power from Congress not to be in control of my tax dollars but Congress already has proven to be the obstacle anyway starting in 2006.
    $. Term Limits for all in Congress!

    February 1, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. jumbo

    america first.....thats what all of us want

    February 1, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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