February 13th, 2009
12:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Most moderate GOP reps unswayed on stimulus

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Despite direct lobbying by members of President Obama's administration in the last couple of weeks, many moderate House Republicans are still firmly opposed to the measure.

Before the House vote last month, 11 House Republicans attended a meeting at the White House with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to discuss their possible support. None of those members voted for the bill then, and CNN has learned that most do not intend to support the latest version either.

Pennsylvania Republican Jim Gerlach said he got calls from two Cabinet secretaries on Thursday –- HUD Secretary Sean Donovan and Transportation Secretary Secretary Ray LaHood – – but said the bill didn’t include the “fundamental change I think is needed.”

Rep Vern Ehlers, R- Mich, met with Obama’s White House legislative staff this week, but said the measure didn’t include enough items he thought would be effective stimulus to the economy.

Another Michigan Republican, Candice Miller, said she believes the compromise between the House and the Senate is worse than the original House bill. “I really wanted to get to yes because Lord knows we need the help in Michigan.” Miller said she asked for more direct help for the ailing auto industry and was disappointed the tax credit for auto buyers was scaled back. “I personally asked both the President and Rahm for something for the auto companies,” Miller said.

Spokespeople for Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-WV; Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio; and Rep. Leonard Lance, R-NJ, said these members will oppose the measure this afternoon.

A spokesperson for Rep Thomas Petri (WI) indicated that he will "not likely" vote for the bill.

And even though President Obama personally called on Rep Aaron Schock (IL) to support the measure while visiting the Caterpillar Plant in his district on Thursday, the Congressman's spokesman said he will be voting against it.

But Republican Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La, said he is now “leaning yes" on the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, after voting with all other Republicans against the House version last month. Cao said he’s still reading the bill, but thought some aspects of the legislation could help rebuilding efforts in his New Orleans district.

Filed under: Congress • stimulus plan
soundoff (122 Responses)

    Thats it boys hold back the socialist horde.

    February 13, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Simpliticus

    Would pirates like to give up their ill-gotten gains? Republicans are squaring to have their "swag" to be hoarded away and that is why there is no cooperation with the stimulus plan! When Wall Street acts the way it does, it sells the notion that things are only going to get worse which is why banks should NOT be trusted. Republicans are pirates wanting to have their "booty" saved and not taken from them as the stimulus would do!

    February 13, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |

    The republicans are the only ones with the countries best interest at heart.Dems should take a lesson. It would be far easier to say yes rather than stand on your principles.

    February 13, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Mike Dallas

    Who needs the repubs tell 'em to kiss off.

    After all the RNC chairman himself, Steele said "bi-partisanship is overrated".

    So, will you House repubs stop whining when Dems take the RNC chairmans advice!

    February 13, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. kayla


    February 13, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. US Call Centers

    It's a good example of Democratic economics. Print and spend money until our wages are so low that we get all of our outsourced work back. This matches well with their foreign policy so that we could build stuff for the Chinese and Europeans to sell to the Russians who become the new world superpower.

    February 13, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. Jude

    The height of hypocrisy!!!-John Boehner pontificating about the stimulus bill, even after he and his Republican criminals advocated for an illegal war and ran the country into a trillion dollars of debt funding it. They seemed to have no problem spending money for THAT but ignored the American economy and the effects of their spending on it. The Republican "economic plan" has been an unmitigated failure for 8 years-they should shut up and let Obama do the best he can to fix what the Bush administration destroyed!!!!

    February 13, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Willy Brown

    It's a loser porkalus bill for payback to illegals.

    February 13, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. MICK in MESA

    These plantation Hooverite repugs are unbelievable. It's thier "idiot-ology" or nothing at all.
    How about "America First" or is that just an election slogan to get the low information right wing evangelicals to vote for you...

    February 13, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Ike

    Why is it that the Republican senators think they have the right solution to the troubled economy? Why do they think that it is their recommendation that should see the light of the day? Why do they think that their proposal is enough to solve the huge economic problem of our time? I have a feeling that the GOP senators are working hard together to see President Obama failure. Unfortunately to them, Mr President will surely succeed because God is with him.

    February 13, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Scott, Tucson

    They know a TURKEY when they see one is why they're not voting for it. I expect in 4-6 months time after this money is spent that Obama and the dems will be back with hat in hand asking for more of our tax dollars to waste.

    February 13, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. S Callahan

    good question McGee....

    As for the junior reps...they are under 'training'...and dare not cross the trainer....

    February 13, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Dutch/Hampton Roads, VA

    Let them stay unswayed. The American People will unsway them out of Washington on 11/4/2010.

    February 13, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. dave from Dayton, OH

    Looks like Congress is politics as usual. Granted, I wouldn't expect all Republicans to vote for the stimulus package, but I have to wonder if some of the moderate ones are afraid of outside PAC groups threatening to put money into candidates that might run against them in the midterm elections.

    And, I wonder how much pressure Republicans are getting from other Republicans to stand united. It was interesting to hear Sen. Gregg last night mention how he likes and admires Barack Obama on national television. I'm sure he'll take some flack for that. But then, he doesn't plan to run in 2010.

    I'm slowly being convinced that we need to do a wholesale change for all members of Congress that are up for re-election in 2010...regardless of party. I'm just sick and tired of a do-nothing Cogress.

    And while we're at it...here's a suggestion that I wish would gain some traction:

    Since Americans are having to suffer job losses and cuts in pay and benefits, how about Congress vote to reduce their salaries by at least 10% and cut some of their benefits and staff...that way, they might start to feel the pain the rest of us are feeling.

    Somehow, I don't think that will happen, but I can wish.

    February 13, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. obama-mama

    Ok I get it. Each Republican Senator won't vote for the bill if there is nothing personal in it for them. Or maybe they all just pinky swore not to sign the bill just to aggravate our president.

    February 13, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. JR

    how many of these Republicans are also economists?

    February 13, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Beth

    The culture in Washington is so broken. It will probably take Obama the full 8 years to repair it.

    February 13, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. peter

    NIce, so that seals it, if it doesn't help Big Business, Military contractors, or Big Oil, the republicans are against it.

    Go to hell republicans!

    February 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Tom in Delaware

    Get e-verify back into the bill so that bonafide Americans can benefit from it instead of illegal aliens or kill that Porky Pig Bill.

    Tell Chuck Schumer to pack sand.

    February 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Interested in MO

    Moderate Republican in the House.
    Isn't that something of an oxymoron?

    February 13, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Gene

    They have to be opposed to it. Look what happened when just 3 republicans in the senate voted yes on it. The entire republican party threatened them with reprimands... threatened to campaign to have them thrust out of office.

    Republicans are voting against it in general... but those moderates that may be more inclined to vote for it are afraid to because they feel that they are going to be punished.. or lose their jobs altogether.

    February 13, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Obama Cares

    Thank God for President Obama.

    February 13, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Nathan,

    Who cares. The last 8 years have shown that we don't need those rethuglicans to help move this country forward. Let them continue to sit on the sidelines while millions of Americans continue to lose their jobs and homes. This episode is further proof that while the Democrats care about the millions the rethuglicans only care about the millionaires. When this economy turns around what will those sorry excuse for Americans say then. They're banking on failure so that they can get back in power. They don't care how many Americans are hurt. They know the only way thry get back in power is by Americans suffering more. How pathetic are they?

    February 13, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Chris from NY

    I am about to tune off my TV and stop reading internet news. With Obama's high poll numbers the media is working overtime to sway American population on Obama. They just don't get it. We the people knew this already. The news is suppose to be about something you don't already know, supproted by facts. These days cable news are judged only by their ratings and not necessarily the content of the news. They just recycle the news.

    February 13, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Independent_me

    Republicans will look back at their opposition to the stimulus bill as one of their worst strategic mistakes ever. This plan will work faster than even Obama envisions – and the repugs will be on the wrong side of history.

    However, that will be a good thing because they will not be able to take credit for it, the way they tried to with Bill Clinton.

    Snowe, Collins and Specter will look like heroes!

    February 13, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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