February 14th, 2009
11:15 AM ET
9 years ago

Schneider: Bipartisanship? What bipartisanship?

President Obama didn't find much bipartisanship over the stimulus bill or his pick for commerce secretary.

President Obama didn't find much bipartisanship over the stimulus bill or his pick for commerce secretary.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - "It is time for Congress to act, and I hope they act in a bipartisan fashion," President Obama said when he went to Peoria, Illnois, on Thursday to argue for his economic stimulus plan.

Congress acted. But bipartisan? Not so much.

The plan passed the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote, and got only a token number - three - of Republican votes in the Senate.

"All the talk about bipartisanship that we have heard over the last several months went down the drain," House Republican leader John Boehner complained on Friday.

Obama also ran into a wall in his effort to build a bipartisan cabinet when his choice for Secretary of Commerce, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, withdrew his name from nomination.

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Filed under: Congress • President Obama • Stimulus bill
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Vegas

    I love how Obama is non-partisan because of a cabinet position that was offered to a Republican but turned down. I think that is more of a Republican problem than it is Obama being non-partisan.

    February 14, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Mike Bekemeier

    If Mr. Boehner was really interested in bipartisanship, why did he not attempt to work with Mr. Obama on such a plan. I heard nothing from Mr. Boehner that was constructive, only NO to this and No to that. Mr. Obama reached out to Mr. Boehner; it takes two to work together and make the plan bipartisan. I suspect he also orchestrated the vote to make sure no House Republicans voted for the measure. Come on Mr. Boehner, let's try to work on a true bipartisan plan for the other issues facing this country. Surely you have some good ideas other than "Just say NO."

    February 14, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Russ Olive

    By reporting the Republicans' allegation that not one Congressperson has read the stimulus report, you are doing a disservice to the American people......If no one read it, how were all the Republicans able to point out everything that was "wrong" with the bill? They've had the bill for weeks and only needed to know what differences were worked out by the House/Senate committee....disingenuous at best!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. JIM...TX

    Boehner is a prime example of why the Republicans suck...it's got to be their way or not at all. Even after including $70 billion to the rich, which won't do anyone any good except them...they whine. I hope the Dems keep beating their butts every chance they get!

    February 14, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. arona

    Shut up, John Boehner! Learn to shut up and listen to your conscience sometimes.

    February 14, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Susan from Ga.

    The Republicans have no intention of being bi-partisan. From the get go, they have decided to obstruct every issue that confronts America. They only people they care about are affluent, white and rich people.

    February 14, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Vivek

    Obama got elected over McCain because America thought his political philosophy was better than McCain's. If America wanted bipartisanship, the vote would be 50-50, but that wasn't the case. 8 years ago, I don't remember Rush or any Republican calling for bipartisanship based on the popular vote. Maybe if they had, we wouldn't be in this mess. Obama has seen where bipartisanship has got him, and he will hopefully stop sticking out his neck to accommodate the Republicans. Look at what Judd Gregg did to him.

    February 14, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. lila

    Obama reached his hand out again and again. A few smart republicans understood Obama would play ball and got more tax cuts in the bill and cut some spending. Obama is not a republican. He has never claimed to be a republican. Obama showed more grace and decency to republicans in two weeks than Bush showed democrats in 8 years. Bipartisanship? Well, the republicans seem to forgot what got Obama elected was his grace and decency. Obama reached out. Almost all the republican's bit his hand in a bitter stand of Bushy defiance.. forgetting that that behaver lost them the middle. They might be wooing their base... but their base is shrinking and appealing to it is not going to help the republicans become a party for the future. They are stuck. One note. It's like a grave yard... they just put gravy on it. That's not going to move anyone in the middle to their yard.

    February 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Eileen

    Obama built bipartisianship with the stimulus – he joined with the American citizens and addressed their needs. Too bad the republicans chose to put the republican party and political maneuvering over the best interests of the county.

    February 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Cynthia

    What more can President Obama do? He has to accept the fact that some people are just so full of hate and anger that no matter what he does they will simply not support him because of who he is and most of all because of who they are. The only thing left to do now is pray that this works not only for President Obama but for the country, and if we pray really hard maybe 2010 will really bring a change.

    February 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Franky

    You know Bill, that's right we didn't believe it. For crying out loud, my boy talked more to the GOP than Democrats wanted too...they don't care about them! Even in this bill, some House Dems are upset not to mention the other side and Dems showed their frustration, GOP just talked a lot. I mean, the only way it was gonna work if he constantly kept talking to them and approaching them but if you think Democratic leaders will try...PLEASE! That's right Rahm is there, to see if balance can be approached but even GOP are talking about him, and we don't blame Dems, they just don't wanna talk to them!! They just don't...

    You know, and if people wanna talk about Team of Rivals and so on, remember, when my boy Honest Abe selected his cabinet, it might been the most guilty cabinet in American History, do you think it was necessary? No! Was it an obligation? Yes! Imagine if he didn't, would the South and North be the same? No one liked his ideas, no one like his approach, no one liked how he handled things, etc. So this notion that Bipartisanship can be worked, well is a pretty misconception. This notion that American's dream of working together...well, let's just say it took over 100 years when people realized my boy Honest Abe did...

    February 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. 2010

    As usual the Republicans are the ones obstructing what is best for America. It won't be long now until 2010 and another election cycle for Senators and the House who are up for reelection or open seats.

    Americans will make some more choices in those elections and our country will be better for it.

    God Bless America and President Barack Obama.

    February 14, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. williefloyd

    What's Boehner "complaining" about?? Pres. Obama extended his hand, the Repubs. are the ones who returned the fist!!

    February 14, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. Laura South

    this stimulus bill is a joke because it does nothing for people on social security . I here about medaciad but noyhing for medicare I here rebates for working people but what about the people who have work and paid in most of there life. or like my self that has work and paid in for 33 years and is now disable I get no help but these woman who lay on thier backs and have kid after kid will get even more help from the gov. I THINK THAT SUCKS ALL THE WAY AROUND.....

    February 14, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. seattle

    "All the talk about bipartisanship that we have heard over the last several months went down the drain," House Republican leader John Boehner ------
    but its the republican that drowned it down the drain. one hand cant clap by it self and the president cant be bipartisan by hisown.

    February 14, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. jp,michigan

    Nothing about the campaign and now the administration will bring about bipartisanship. The democrats are in control, socialistic government is on it's way and only if it fails all that Obama is trying to do, will we once again have choices.

    February 14, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Steve

    OK. So here's the deal. Bipartisanship is a two-way street. The Republicans are still suffering under the impression that they are the majority in the House and Senate. For 8 years they have called bipartisanship "The Republican Way". That is no longer the case. Now they must actually work across the aisle, or lose. Simply saying, "No" over and over again, as more and more concessions are put in bills is not bipartisanship. It's childish. The petulant, spoiled brat that was our president has gone home as of January 20th. Congress? Grow up. Get to work.

    February 14, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Obamacrat

    Rome was not built in a day and Washington will not change in a day. The republicans have bet the house (no pun intended) on Obama's plans failing. Just as I'm sure when Obama announced his plan to run for President two years ago most would have bet on him losing at that time too. When are people going to wisen up and stop betting against this guy. His plans are going to work and when they do the only thing the republicans will say is things like, "well the economy was going to recover anyway". Good luck selling that to the voters in 2010 and 2012.

    February 14, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. dmr

    Is anyone actually shocked or surprised? Anyone actually trust politicians to do the right thing for their people and not their buddies adding to their wallet? Please, they're all crooks, both sides. They are all only out for numero uno! Has anyone ever seen a politicians ever say the word 'bipartisan' without grimacing. I may be too young to know but has anyone ever seen this word in practice?

    February 14, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Cody

    The Repuplicans are going to end up eating it on this. For John Boehner to say that Obama hasn't been bipartisan is utterly ridiculous. It is extraordinarily clear that Obama made every effort to be bipartisan on this. Adding significant tax cuts, cutting numerous programs, consulting extensively with the Republicans. Rebublicans even expressed their admiration at all of this at first until somebody apparently sent out a memo that they were looking too deferential.

    I truly used to think that Republicans were no more manipulative or slimy than democrats - just of a different philosophy - but I have seen over the last year that this is simply not the case. Both parties are crooked but the Repubs are far worse. And I'm not just talking about Bush here - I mean Congress as well. I'm a centrist, but I could not now ever see myself voting for a Republican.

    February 14, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Lew Bransford

    Time will show Obama to be the worst electoral mistake in the history of this used-to-be-great country. He should resign now. He has split the country even further apart on many levels, just think about it...

    February 14, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Chico in Virginia

    Look people the President is doing and making the right moves. He inherited a mess that he is consistently fighting with as much patience and tenacity when he was just a nominee.
    The Republican's are in the process of destroying their own party. When it's all said and done just look at the facts. The President and the Democrats are being true to their word while the Republican's have decided to idle, bicker and throw punches on themselves.
    What is sad to say is, they can't even see what they are doing. Change has come. We move the country forward. There is zero time to idle or fight it. That's what the President has addressed and that's what his record shows.

    February 14, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. susan

    WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THE LAST 8 YEARS???? who was in office and why didnt they use any initiative to curtail this problem – the people wanted change – if they liked the republicans they would have voted for them GET A CLUE

    February 14, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. paula

    Republicans are doubling down, they are betting on Obama's failure, so they can say "I told you so". It is a strange mixture of revisionist history being written by the moment and shortsightedness. They are quite willing to forget the trillion dollar debt they have already stuck to future generations for the war in Iraq, then they cry foul for the same amount needed to help this country's infrastructure. I have not heard of a viable alternative from their side either, as tax cuts and letting the economy heal on its own are obviously not feasible. They're betting on the failure of the Democrats to solve an immense problem, which is a shame, because they are really betting on the failure of our nation. They are a despicable lot of sore losers!

    February 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. Carol in LA

    Guess what, Boehner? It takes two to tango. The Republicans are proving to be the obstructionist party. The American people are tired of petty partianship. We want our congress to make difficult decisions and get our economy back on track.

    Let's have an up-or-down vote in congress on the economic recovery. If the Republicans cannot compromise and work out a plan, they can go the way of the dinosaur.

    February 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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