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. mw

    Republicans do not want to know the meaning of the word -bipartisan. They do not care if Americans are angry and frustrated by their lack of concern and cooperation. They just do not care about anything except special interests, the greedy, the thieves, the filthy rich, the jerks who just don't get it. They are out to please Rush, Coulter, hannity, Rove, goldberg, the boners and boneheads, and such ilk. Middle Americans have NEVER been a priority for republicans. They don't want to "get it"——It might offend Rush, and heaven forbid their savior be upset

    February 14, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    Bipartisanship?? Everyone knew that some form of a significant spending bill was absolutely necessary, that the economy was in extreme trouble and that the specific breakdown on the bill wasn't ever going to satisfy everyone, so then why were the Republicans so belligerently deviant, even to threatening their own people, who actually felt they were voting their conscience for their constituents' benefit (in other words being responsible)? For the last eight years the Republican Party has been strongly, stubbornly, obstinately and arrogantly united, first in backing Bush-Cheney in everything and now in faulting and trying to block anything Obama offers. The two are probably related in that the costs and failures of Bush-Cheney heavily reflect on the Republicans and they now feel pressure to make sure Obama fails too, so they can recover some, and hence they become belligerent obstructionists. Another heavily contributing factor is that they feel cocky in being able to control public opinion with their strong and powerful backing and support from the influential and wealthy interests behind them. Throughout the last eight years they have clearly demonstrated this confidence when boldly doing whatever they wanted, literally thumbing their noses at everyone, and then actually depending on the overt and covert powerful support behind them to influence the media and to manipulate public opinion, deceptively appealing to individual biases and using subterfuge to excite emotions. The real question then is, who really has control of the Republican Party, whose interests are they really constantly serving? The clear answer to that is, the money and power that is pulling the strings that they jump to, definitely not the people! That is easily recognizable in seeing who has always significantly benefited from their actions. Bipartisanship will be very difficult to ever achieve there!

    February 14, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Steve

    There is nothing Grand in the GOP, except,perhaps, the Grandstanding by Boehner and his gang of No sayers. What a pitiful lot ! Can't wait till 2010.

    February 14, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. ben

    Bipartisanship is just a mean to an end, it is not the only way.

    President OBAMA has extended his hand to the Republicans and they could not unclinch their fists.
    The Republicans actually proposed amendments that were accepted and are now part of the Stimulus Bill, and yet they turned around and voted against the Bill.
    Other words the Republicans were already programmed to say NO.

    In such a scenario, let's not lose sight of the priorities, Bipartisanship is just a mean to an end and not more.

    February 14, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Freddy

    The Republicans have shown themselves to be right wing conservative ideologues who wil not let go of the same mantras, despite the fact that they haven't worked in the past. What's worse, they are bitter and have become more of the party of Rush, Hannity and Coulter, and less like a loyal opposition. Personal attacks on Obama continue, even though the election is over. They are playing to their ever-narrowing base, which they will find to be a huge mistake.

    Oh, and all the whining about how we are leaving all this debt to our children, wasn't it the Republicans who turned a budget surplus into a multi-billion dollar deficit before all this economic mess started????

    February 14, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Steve Taylor

    The Republicans saw this as a major way to regain power, and therefore decided not to support it. If it doesn't work, they'll use it as the launchpad to get Obama out of office in 2012. However, we aren't stupid. No one has a silver bullet on how to get us out of this mess. If someone did, we wouldn't have as many varying opinions as we do experts and economists; or there would be consensus around one plan. It boils down to ideology, and if the Republicans worked all the time we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. Let's give it a chance to work.

    February 14, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Deb

    Good job Mr. President the American people are with you....we know the repubs wish for you to fail but they are too stupid to realize if you fail they will also

    February 14, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Scott

    Frankly every time Obama extends his hand the republicans should smack it. 2010, Republicans regain control of the Senate.

    February 14, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. paul oregon

    remember to vote in 2010. dem. have to finish what they started in

    February 14, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. God Help us

    Fritz how can you say it is the first person fault if he tries to be bipartisan you cannot make anybody change there ways you can only do your part. if they do not respond in a positive way then it is there fault

    February 14, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. mjm

    The economy would have recovered by itself within years.

    The stimulus needs to act within months if it is going to be effective.

    Tax cuts act in months. That would have been a stimulus.

    This plan does nothing but hit us right in the stimulus package.

    February 14, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Chuck

    Blame the partisan Republicans. Partisanship is part of the ideology. The time has come to make them irrelevant. Go Democrats and show them how governing is done.

    February 14, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. jeremy

    Funny how the tide changes and the GOP is now the poor unlistened to party. Hey GOP- Remember the past 8 years? Do you remember how bipartisian you guys were? With all of your small government, cut taxes ways, our country has found itself in a dire recession. You may not like it but the government needs to take control of the situation by forcing more jobs and stimulating this econonmy. The GOP notion of unregulated business is what got our country into this mess.

    SHUT UP about Bipartisianship. The GOP was very one-sided during their time in power and the American people stripped them of that power because it was a complete failure. So listen to the American people and do what is right without crying.

    February 14, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Fritz

    To JC: "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."

    It is not revisionist history that Obama inherited this mess from the Republicans – Obama did inherit this mess from President Bush and the Republicans. Anyone who says otherwise has not checked the facts.
    The Republicans were in control of the Senate from 1994 until 2006 (barring for a year when a Republican switched to Independent because of how badly the Republicans were acting). So the Republicans controlled the legislature and executive from 2000 to 2006.
    From 2006 – the split in the Senate was 49-49 with two independents and Republicans running the executive. And over the last two years, the Republicans filibustered Democratic initiatives more than any other time in the history of the United States.
    From a legislative and executive perspective, this mess Obama is dealing with was inherited from Republicans.

    February 14, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Phil Newton, in Murphy, Oregon

    The GOP isn't interested in bipartisanship. They are interested, as one of them said, in "insurgency."

    They have become the Party of the privileged Taliban.

    The GOP insisted that $70 BILLION - One TENTH of the relief package - go to tax breaks for the wealthy.

    They have failed, and the rest of them must go.

    February 14, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Donna from Colorado Springs

    The republicans never had the idea of working with the dems on the stimulus plan. They were determined to dig in their heels and act like stubborn willful children who didn't get their way! The president hoped for bi-partisan attitude from the republicans, but all he got was ATTITUDE! How typical of the republican party. They should remember how little faith the country had in them by voting overwhelmingly democratic in the last election. But they have the typical sore loser attitude. If this plan tanks, they will take the credit for voting against it. But, if it really helps bring the country back, they will be the first in line to beg for help and take false credit for it too. What a bunch of losers!

    February 14, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Dan J

    The closest thing we had to bipartisanship is when both democrats and republicans in the house voted AGAINST the bill.

    February 14, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Ann

    Let's be clear – the lack of bi-partisanship no this particular bill is not due to a lack of outreach by the new president. The fact that Republicans held their party line and voted "no" on this bill despite being invited to participate in the democratic process, and continue to air the untruth that the fault is Obama's is ridiculous. Guess what, Republicans? We the People can see through your lies.

    Get with the program or get out of office, you were not elected to obstruct the process of progress.

    February 14, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Deb

    Everyone this is exactly how the repubs behaved when Clinton was President. They are so extinct

    February 14, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. GW BUSH 2001 1.35 trillion dollars TAX CUT for the RICH


    REMEMBER GW BUSH 2001 1.35 trillion dollars TAX CUT for the RICH & BIG OIL CORPORATIONS?


    February 14, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. rob

    Congratulations! But BOO to the irrelevant Republicans! And lesson learned for Obama and the Dems. No more negotiating with them. Was a waste of time and lost opportunities with the Stimulus package.

    February 14, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Harry, GA

    Hey Jay, Do not say Republicans have no intention to work with your loving President. Do you know that your President is 'Radical'. Do you want Republicans and others to embrace his radical agenda. It is better if you go to Cuba or Russia or China. He says he has 'Won' election. So does the Republicans in the Senate and Congress. If he wanted to be bi-partisan he should have included the other side in his discussions. He is indeed a liar.

    February 14, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Bill

    The Dem's idea of bipartisanship: "MY way or the highway"!

    Sorry - the rest of us just don't buy into that!

    February 14, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. elana

    Bipartisanship will NEVER be a possibility in the Obama administration. The Republicans will stubbornly and arrogantly display the same behavior we have witnessed in the past two weeks regarding the stimulus bill EACH AND EVERY TIME a bill is placed before them. It will not matter what the content of the bill. They will reject it. I sincerely hope that the American voters will take the opportunity, both in 2010 and 2012, when they are standing in the election booth, to vote for a Democratic candidate and oust every one of these self-serving, selfish, and careless Republicans! They DO NOT have the best interests of the American people on the top of their list! Their political philosphy will never permit them to realize there is ALWAYS a possibility someoneelse might have a better idea than they have!

    February 14, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. FAYE, NV

    President Obama can not make the Repubs work with him. He has extended his hands to them and they refuse to comply. The repubs would rather see the Country fail then support any bright ideas the President has.

    Hatred and bitterness run deep and we all pay the price.

    February 14, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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