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. Morgan

    When one side refuses to compromise and really negotiate like the Republican did, how can there be bipartisanship?

    When I see Dems agreeing to drop or reduce several items in negotiation and Repubs doing nothing but complaining more after each concession by Dems. I'm sorry but you can't get everything that you want when negotiating in Congress. Repubs acting like they did makes me think they were just trying to set-up an argument against Dems and Obama.

    February 14, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. worldwisdom

    Laura South. Read The Bill.

    February 14, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    GOP broke it, doesn't want to fix it, but will be first in line to take the credit when it works!

    John Boehner is a Newt Gingrich wannabe, and we all know how it turned out for Newt, don't we?!

    February 14, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. kent

    "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.
    Vigorously disagreeing, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio dumped a copy of the 1,071-page bill to the floor in a gesture of contempt. "The bill that was about jobs, jobs, jobs has turned into a bill that's about spending, spending, spending," he said.

    Boehner's crying complaint and his geture of contempt only serve to expose him as what is commonly known as a 'spoiled brat.'

    February 14, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Necie

    The past administration supported a policy that lines the pockets of the rich and well-connected....leaving the rest of us in the cold. I'd rather see a recovery plan that has a "chance" of helping Americans instead of doing NOTHING....which seems is republicans want to do.

    Is there anybody in the Senate or Congress who is wondering where their next meal is coming from??? Me thinks not. The show must go on, with or without everyone's support. Folks are suffering, jobs are being lost everyday.

    February 14, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. KFR

    The repub are sitting Obama up to fail and now they will do everything in their power at American's expense to make sure that happens. This was nothing but an attempted power play that dragged out for weeks while the economy worsen.

    February 14, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. EIMXL women

    It was a great act of bipartisanship by President Obama throughout the entire Democratic process of formulating the Stimulis bill. It says a lot about the repubican party that only 3 were smart enough to know the urgency of this.

    The repupican party is done for good!

    February 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Steve G

    Looks to me like the Republicans are selling out their country for the sake of politcal partisanship.

    February 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. RyanD.

    LOL @ This doofus suggesting its Obama's fault.

    The latest Gallup Poll disagrees with you, sir. 68% of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the stimulus vs. 31% approval of the GOP.


    February 14, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. FreeNLovIt

    We need more moderates and Independents to run the country or we'll never move the country forward!!

    February 14, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Bipartisan

    Yes the Republicans have screwed up the past eight years. And we punished them for it. But you Democrats are no better. For the past eight years you all wanted Bush to fail, even if it meant losing the war in Iraq. So don't cry foul now that it is happening to you.

    Both parties have disgusted me in the past and they are disgusting me now. Imagine, Dems hating Bush and fighting him tooth and nail for eight years and now they want the Repubs to stand behind their guy. It ain't gonna happen folks because both parties have set it up this way.

    You hate each other and you're both to blame. So quit your crybabying.

    February 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. carolflowery

    Republicans couldn't even pronounce "bipartisan" until Obama was sworn in. They got the useless tax cuts they wanted, so why are they still whining? "Bipartisanship" doesn't mean getting your way 100%.

    um um uh, are you really saying that tax cuts are useless, umm ummm
    isnt that what your new president ran on, that and the iraq war, which i havent heard him utter much about since to got to the white house, i guess that doesnt matter anymore huh

    February 14, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Allen in Hartwell GA

    My wife was a Republican for over forty years, but now she wonders why. These idiots now parading around as Republicans would be kicked out of the party of Eisenhower and Goldwater.

    A politician is supposed to help govern, not dictate. We don't need someone to do what they think is best for us, but instead to do what we need. If the persons representing you in Washington are not doing what you need then it is your responsibility to vote against them in the next election. I know that the two Republican senators from Georgia and the Republican representative for GA's 10th District should be very afraid.

    February 14, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. exactly

    @ Cody at 11:24am

    My thoughts EXACTLY. I've voted almost 50/50 in my life for Dems/Repubs. Even in this last election I voted for Obama, but for many Repubs for other positions. Not anymore. I am just absolutely sickened by the entire party lately.

    February 14, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. chris from stl

    cons and libs can never agree on anything. Recent events clearly indicate a great divide between the two, and the gap is widening. This is very dangerous for the good of the country.

    However, what is interesting is the growing 'independents' or the 'realists'. These are mostly young , open minded, and not bound by the extreme conservative or liberal ideologies. They agree with what's good for the country, and do not hesitate to 'change' as the situation demands. President Obama represents this group, and this is the group which is going to shape the country's future.

    February 14, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Gerry

    It always takes two to tango. President Obama was holding out his hand of bi-partisanship much longer than he should have and all the GOP did was try to bite him with their new Taliban tactics.

    The only way this changes is if republican voters email, phone and picket their republican elected representatives and demand they stop listening to Rush Limbo and start working with the President to imporve the country.

    February 14, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. FreeNLovIt

    We need people who arent robots and arent controlled by anyone but by the WILL, GUTS and freedom to do the right thing. We need people with the ability to listen to advisors with background in economics, science and etc... If 20 advisors and Nobel Prize winners advise the country to take the blue road, we should take the blue road. God, Guts and Guns made this country! So use your God-given talents to rescue America. Stop being hostaged or enslaved to a master.

    February 14, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. TJ

    OK, the Republicans can't claim that it isn't bipartisanship. They refused to vote for anything short of 100% tax cuts. Well, they lost the election, so they won't get everything they want. The fact that this bill has such a high level of tax cuts is more than the Republicans deserved.
    I didn't see the Democrats getting even a small amount of their agenda when Republicans were in power.

    February 14, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. exactly

    to Lew Bransford @ 11:27am

    Which Southern state do you live in?

    February 14, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. NUNNYA

    To Selected Not Elected .Quit yer whining.If Hillary ran a better campaign she'd be president.There WAS NO CHEATING!!

    February 14, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Arlene Illinois

    I think it was John McCain during the campaign said
    " Country First" but what he really meant was "Republican First"

    February 14, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. JC

    The republicans are no different than the democrats. Both of their definitions of "bipartisanship" means the other side just agrees to everything the other wants. And when will the revisionist history of Obama inheriting this mess "from republicans" end? Last time I checked the democrats have been the majority in congress for a few years and before that still had enough power to force or block anything they wanted. The whole congress is to blame and the sooner fresh blood gets in there and the old hags get out the better.

    February 14, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. annie - Palin 2012

    Is it called bipartisan when 3 republicans sell out the American people? How can you vote for something you don't even read? Maybe I can sell them something – all they have to do is 'just sign here'!

    February 14, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Bud Burgoon-Clark


    You are NOT in Congress to run for re-election. You are in Congress to SERVE the people who ELECTED you.

    House Republican leaders demonstrated NOTHING in the way of interest in the good of the COUNTRY; rather, they put their fascist lock-step control of rank-and-file members on display for all to see.

    I commend to ALL Republicans a careful re-reading of the outcome of the 2008 general election. You lost. And you lost for a VERY good reason. The American people REJECTED you and your far-right, mysogenistic, homophobic, racist philosophy ... and by a margin wider than any seen in modern times.

    IF you want to restore credibility and (dare I say it?) HONOR to the Republican Party, you'll get RID of the mysogenists, the homophobes, the racists, and the religious fanatics. Granted, you'll have to rebuild from the ground up, because if you distance yourselves from ALL those people, there won't be many left!

    BTW - nobody was fooled by your election of an African-American as chairman. NOBODY is going to be swayed by a far-right tool of the Party's masters, be he black OR white.

    February 14, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Sarty

    Every time Obama extends his hand to the Repubiantrash,, he should wash his hand.

    February 14, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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