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. Xavier

    The only thing that is splitting the country is ignorant people like you.

    February 14, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Jim

    Who cares about bi-partisanship? If the stimulus works, excellent and the Dems get the credit. If it doesn't, the the independents will change Congress and the Presidency. After all, the independents have elected the govertment ever since the Jefferson-Adams election of 1800.

    February 14, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Donna

    Dead weight. That's all the Congressional GOP has become. Every step forward will have to be made in spite of them. Every point of progress will come with no thanks to the GOP.

    February 14, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Fran

    Until the republican party gets rid of all those old white boys with their ideology about tax cuts solving every problem their party will continue to shrink until they become extinct. They and their policies are what has just about destroyed this country. They have no new ideas themselves and they know that what President Obama has proposed will work that is why they are being obstructionist because they know when things start to improve they won't get control of the White House or the Congress for many years to come. President Obama has tried to work with them but it is apparent they don't want to work with him so I say the next time just steam roll right over them.

    February 14, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Frank C


    February 14, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Vicki

    I think Jeffrey Tubin (spelling) said it best on CNN last evening. Most Americans DO NOT care about bipartisianship. What we care about is getting the economy going again, putting people back to work, and helping all the people. At this point so many Americans are hurting that we could hardly care less about bipartisianship.

    I think the only people who care about it are the republicans and the media!!

    February 14, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. Denver Mom

    Obama is definitely a LEFTIE... and the pun is intended

    February 14, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    Lew Bransford, you can say that about President Obama after only 3 weeks and his continued efforts to reach across the aisle? What about the huge chasm President Bush created? It seems to me that's going to take years, if ever, to heal?

    February 14, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Andy

    The dark ages of the 21st century were 2000-2008. Over the next four years, America will see the light. It might be blinding for some, but the light will shine none the less.

    February 14, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Joan , Ontario

    How funny was John Boehner's little temper tantrum ? We thought that the Republicans had shown their true colours during the last eight years. Apparently it is worse than we thought. Boehner should ask Lou Dobbs where he got his report because he has been going through it for the last week. They should have been able to read through the amendments easily in a night. Right now your country is facing an unprecedented possible economic collapse. It is NOT an ordinalry political climate out there. Once the economy starts to stabilize then they can start to flex their political muscles but now is not the appropriate time. Your country needs support and confidence not backstabbing and negativity. The world is watching your country very closely because everyone knows that the economic downfall started there and we are all hoping that you pull together and get us all out of it.

    February 14, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. lindy

    The GOP: Obstructionists.

    What are you not getting about the last eight years people? Give the first intelligent man we've had in office in eight years a chance.

    February 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Namdur

    Unfortunately, the Republicans went into the minority and therefore true opposition due to the fact that they are up against the wall. They must renew themselves to their constituents by getting back to the roots of Republican values, small gov't with less spending. So all I can expect for the future is nothing more of the same. Pie in the sky for our President has such high intentions for the Republicans, but after what we saw in 06 and 08 we might not see a Republican resurrection for many years to come... if at all. Hopefully America has seen what special interest has done and will wake up again and again every 4 years to keep the pendulum at the center. Where it must be for any healthy country to flourish.

    February 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |




    YES WE DID IN 2008

    AND YES WE CAN IN 2010.


    February 14, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Still Waiting for the Politics of Hope

    Inviting members of the opposing party to watch a football game is not bipartisanship. Inviting members of the opposing party to sit down at the table while a bill is being drafted and actually listening to and incorporating some of their ideas is. To expect members of a conservative party to vote for a bill that is being pushed as "stimulus" but which contains billions of dollars of spending with no stimulative effect is absurd. If the Democrats wanted to shove some of their pet projects through, they are in the majority and should have done so in separate bills and explained to the American people why money we don't have is being spent on things that will help a very few of their constituents. This is nothing more than politics as usual.

    And, just for the record, I am neither a Democrat or Republican–I am proud to be an Independent who does not just spout the view being fed to me (e.g., "oh, Obama inheirited this problem. It's not his fault."–In my view, the President did not "inheirit" anything. He campaigned long and hard and sometimes unfairly for this job, knowing the problems came with it. Time to stop the whining, folks, and step up to the plate and deal with the problems that exist with some thought before action. Haven't eight years of action before thinking through the consequences been enough?)

    February 14, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Conservative

    Chico, the democrats are being true to their word? Really? is that their word to be more transparent? Or do you mean the promise that the democrats made when they took power back in the Congress to do more to respect minority rights? Maybe you're thinking of Obama's promise that things were going to change and there would be no place for lobbyists in his goverment. Surely that's not what you meant since he's already had at least one high level position filled by someone who was a lobbyist in the last couple of years and three of his picks for cabinet positions have had to pull out due to problems, one inspite of his problems, and one because the president was too busy strong arming a partisan bill through. That's what I like to call "change you can believe in."

    February 14, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. KO

    Obama has made a genuine effort at bipartisanship, and it's been rejected. The Republicans would clearly love to see the economy stay in shambles for another 18 months so they can gain back seats in Congress in 2010. I'm fine with leaving them by the side of the road–elections mean something, and their policies have led the country to disaster in the last 8 years.

    February 14, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    so far his record is 100% on not keeping campaign promises..Transparency-hiring lobbyist-five day window for viewing any bill before signing....President Pelosi is proud of the community organizer.

    February 14, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Marc

    Mitchell from MS – And if he's right and, at the very least, JOBS are saved and the economy gets a timeout long enough to recover? Then it will be the Republicans to blame for their narrow vision and 'tax cut mantra'...
    It's OK if the Republicans did vote based on their ideology, their perception that the bill is bad and everything else... but if its just because THEY want to see it fail so THEY can blame the dems for the mess...

    February 14, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. thegoreyears

    We don't need a fringe party to help us govern this country. Obama was clearly annoyed by the stiff arm the Republicans gave him. They've had their turn, and they almost destroyed the country. Now, it's time for real government, and yes, I'm proud of my home boy from Chicago. Republicans think they know how to play politics. They haven't faced my boys from Chicago. We're gonna wash them up.

    February 14, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Armando

    There was more bipartisan votes against than there was for!

    February 14, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Angie in Pa

    Once again republicans are showing their true colors They never Intended to work with President Obama they will pay dearly for this.

    February 14, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Linda in WI

    Bipartisanship? You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Repubs AND Dems have to want to work together before any movement in that direction can occur. For all our sakes, I hope they will take that step.

    February 14, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Shilo

    You can say what you want about the Republicans but they were right ...and if this doesn't work Obama has real problems and it will be a short 4 years.....we can't afford to be giving money to the crooks who helped him buy the White House...there are too many people out there suffering now....your children will be gone and your grandchildren will still be paying the price...and for what pork spending....I've had enough education to know this isn't going to last long term...maybe some of you should go back to school...its like you talk but don't know what your saying

    February 14, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. John The Senator

    Is this article necessary and realistic. When does bipartisan mean that President Obama had to scrap his plan and follow the Republicans platform? Which by the way was the one that got us into this mess. You cannot be bipartisan when the other side wants to do the opposite.

    February 14, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Coherent1

    And I'm sure the far right Republican obstructionists wouldn't have it any other way. I wonder if they think no one can see through their grand scheme? They would only hope, but we see you. Yep, this is not the Emperor's New Clothing. We can see you.

    February 14, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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