February 14th, 2009
11:15 AM ET
5 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. go away mongers -Ventura CA

    The party of "NO" remains unchanged. They will pay again in 2010.

    February 14, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Soldier girl

    From voting Clinton to wanting to vote John Mccain, I now feel inspire and empowered by President Obama each day. He is for real and something I thought we as American will have never been able to see. In the midst of Republican's rhetoric, he has stayed the course. He continues to push for bi-partisan. How could anyone in their right mind say that this president soes not mean well? I know that the answer may come in many forms: jealousy, hatred, racism, and ignorance. I finally have confidence in a leader and leadership that we as Americans have yearn for many generations. We judge true patiotism by the love of our country through our values as laid out by Thomas Jefferson. I can only think that this was some devine idea: a man neither black or white, but of both. I feel proud to call this man My Commander-in-Chief, as a soldier. This is not to take away the that I also had the same respect for former President Bush. Someone who made bad decisions over and over. President Obama continues to shown that he is above the fray and i can not help put like him more and more.

    February 14, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. indiana voter

    Funny how all you Democrats are experts on "bi-partisanship" now that Obama is President, but had no clue what it was when Republicans were in control of Congress and the White House.

    I take that back. You were very "bi-partisan" when you signed on to the war in Iraq. A war which you refuse to talk about now that it is being won, if not already won.

    February 14, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Alicia

    The Republicans are the Scorpion on the Frog's back being carried across the pond....the Scorpion stings the Frog to kill it. The Frog asks the Scorpion 'Why did you do that?'. The Scorpion replies 'I'm a Scorpion, that's what I do.'.

    The Scorpion is the Republicans who were in power EIGHT LONG, LONG years.....did not include the Dems or even the American taxpayer to know what they were doing behind closed doors. I hope President Obama learned a lesson by trying to be nice to a pack of Scorpions. NOW the Republicans are saying improving transportation is Pork? LOL They are looking worse by the minute.

    WHY DON'T THE REPUBLICANS WEAR THE FLAG PINS ON THEIR LAPELS ANYMORE? ARE THEY PROTESTING PRESIDENT OBAMA? ARE THEY BEING LIKE CHENEY, WHEN HE LIED ABOUT AN INJURY SO HE WOULD NOT HAVE TO STAND FOR A BLACK MAN BEING SWORN IN? A BILLIONAIRE DOING HIS OWN MOVING......YEAH RIGHT.

    February 14, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. DP

    Are all of you democrats blind. Obama's idea of bipartisan is I will let you speak but will not even listen to your ideas. I applaud the Republicans for taking a stand with this bill. This bill is a 1000 pages long and members of Congress are supposed to have read it in a matter of hours before voting on it. This is my tax dollars they are spending. I want my representative make a decision on the content of the bill. The democrats just went along with the president and party leaders without a clue of what is really in the bill. How does $30 million to save a fish in Nancy Pelosi's district create long term jobs? How does giving people free money for Cobra insurance to the unemployed create jobs? Bipartisanship is listening and using the ideas of all members of Congress. This bill was written only by democrats and does not address the true issues with the country. I think all members of Congress need to be voted out the next election with the directive that the tax payers are the one's who pay the bills and we need to keep our money so we can provide for our families.

    February 14, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. McAttack & CO !!!

    @Lew Bransford February 14th, 2009 11:27 am ET
    George Bush is the worst President....no one can take his place including you Now shut your sour Puss

    February 14, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Sue

    Well, Dan, it's nice you have a cozy job and health care. My siblings are busy scouring the country for work before they lose their homes. Believe me, they'd rather be working, but there are no jobs to be had, and they fear losing their homes next. I realize you hate Obama, but you'd better pray that this works, or the country is doomed, and it WILL be the Repubs' fault, because they presided over Bush's ruination of our economy, not to mention our very way of life.

    And Chris, I wouldn't rant on in lower case letters, with poor grammar and spelling, about the "uneducated libs" too much longer.
    I am not destroying this nation-Bush did that with the Patriot Act, his unfunded educational mandates, his tax cuts but spending excesses, his war that benefited Haliburton and Blackwater, his torture, and his spying on all of us. None of that is Obama's doing. None of it.

    February 14, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. DP

    Are all of you democrats blind. Obama's idea of bipartisan is I will let you speak but will not even listen to your ideas. I applaud the Republicans for taking a stand with this bill. This bill is a 1000 pages long and members of Congress are supposed to have read it in a matter of hours before voting on it. These are my tax dollars they are spending. I want my representative make a decision on the content of the bill. The democrats just went along with the president and party leaders without a clue of what is really in the bill. How does $30 million to save a fish in Nancy Pelosi's district create long term jobs? How does giving people free money for Cobra insurance to the unemployed create jobs? Bipartisanship is listening and using the ideas of all members of Congress. This bill was written only by democrats and does not address the true issues with the country. I think all members of Congress need to be voted out the next election with the directive that the tax payers are the one's who pay the bills and we need to keep our money so we can provide for our families.

    February 14, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Lilly Rose

    Hey, President Obama tried to include the Republicans, but they chose to be do-nothing obstructionists. Three Republicans, THREE, were the only ones smart enough to know that America cannot wait for ever them to feel like they want to help. America needs it now. And really, since their party caused this mess, I would think that they would be anxious to help fix it so that America won't remember who caused this.

    February 14, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. yuri

    Obviously, you can not have the cake and eat it too. With the adamancy of the GOPs being rampant and running skyhigh, bipartisanship has been involuntarily shoved to the back burner.
    When Eric Cantors, John Boeners, Mitch McConnells, and Lindsay Grahams flatly rufused to back the bill on the pretext of party ideology, all one can remember is their stone faced grit and determination to derail the bill. Long live GOP idiocy!

    February 14, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    The Republicans certainly did NOT even attempt to have Bipartisanship for the past eight years. They pushed everything through without give the Senate or House Dems time to read most of the bills they wanted....Gee, sounds like Boehner is now complaining about what his party did since 94. What an idiot he is!

    February 14, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Greg in Chi

    There is bipartisan OPPOSITION to the stimulus, but only PARTISAN support for it. Consider that.

    Republican members of Congress were still elected through the will of the people to serve the interests of those in their district – just because BO won the presidency doesn't mean it's time to let the Democrats have their turn steamrolling over the future of America just because the Republicans did.

    But the liberal media will slant it to look like Republicans "hate America", meanwhile there WERE Democrats who voted against it. What does that tell you?

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

    Rush (Lamebark) the voice of the repubs had spoken " I hope this bill fail" . The repubs listen and would not agree the help the citizen out of this mess they put us in.

    At one time they agreed, or some, that it was a good plan, and now only three voted for it. Are we living in separate worlds here? How can these Repubs live with themselves or others knowing that they want us to fail as a nation because they don't care for our President.

    February 14, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    The republicans cannot afford to be bipartisan-to do so and cooperate in healing the wrongs that have been done over the last 8 years would admit that their whole theory of gov't is wrong. Not that they practiced what they preached when they were in power! As for Judd Gregg, it seems as though once he wasn't going to be able to manipulate the census to favor the republicans, he decided to quit the game!

    February 14, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. aware

    Obama is a gross obfuscator! You can't believe a word he says! :(

    February 14, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. joe bloggs

    To Obama bipartisanship means listening to all good ideas and then deciding the best combination of ideas to put into a bill. He does not mean – and never did mean – accepting evereything everyone says. To the Republicans 'bipartisaanship' means 'our way' – even if our way has failed for the past few decades.

    If anyone truly believed that Obama was willing to disregard his own ideals as well as the mandate he recd from the American people they are either disingenuous or ignorant. Obama truly wishes to leave the door open for good Republican ideas that are not the same old 'tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy trickle-down Reaganomics that have produced deficits every time the Republicans have been in power.

    Let's face it, the Republicans can never enmbrace the concept of the wealthy contributing more so that the less fortunate – upon whose backs their wealth was built – can also have a decent life with health-care and education. The greed of the extreme right – obscured by their self-righteous dogma (a la Limbaugh, Hannity et al) will never allow them to embrace true bipartisanship.

    Obama is not a fool. He knows this. He is still hoping that enough of the 'moderate' Republicans will defy the greed and fear-mongering of the extreme right and come round to working together with moderate Democrats to make this country work for all its people. Unfortunately, Rush Limbaugh still wields undue influence with the extremists of his party, who are fearful of losing the affluence they have enjoyed for decades as a result of avariciousness and corruption and self-delusion of so called 'Christian values

    February 14, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Anti-Obama

    How are contraceptives going to help the US economy?

    February 14, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Brian MacDougall

    Once upon a time I could respect Republican leadership while disagreeing with particulars. Bush and Company fixed that.

    In our present crisis, it's all about hearts and minds. Since the Republicans as currently constituted clearly have neither anymore, and demonstrate it over and over again, they will likely go down hard. Good riddance.

    February 14, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. John

    The American people wonder why there is no bi-partisanship in Washington even though the politicians all talked about it during the election cycle.

    I think that it is much easier to sit back and obstruct than to corporate for the republicans because they already have what they want; tax breaks for the rich, poor economy for the workers, hungry people willing to work cheaper, outsourcing of jobs to slave wage countries, importing of high tech workers low wage workers and wealth to retrest into while the rest of us suffer.

    Now, that's the the republican dream, the goal started by their hero Ronald Reagan and brought to fruition by George Bush so why would they want to work with the democrats to change things?

    February 14, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Peter E

    I'd have loved to have heard this same rhetoric from these republicans for the past eight years. Heck, even in the past six months. But no. They had no trouble expanding government then, spending record deficits, and handing out government (aka, taxpayer) cash to corrupt institutions. They argued then that deficit spending was necessery, even though they are now arguing it is unfair to borrow from future generations. Do they have this short of a memory? Do YOU have this short of a memory? I'd love to see actual fiscal conservatives return to government, not these two-faced hypocrites who grand-stand for different sides when the politcal winds change. Or perhaps they should voluntarily reject the stimulus bill's aid to their own state to show solidarity with the children, and children's children. But they want to also have it both ways...

    February 14, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. dr.mimi de la cruz

    PRESIDENT OBAMA IS DEALING WITH THE SAME SCUMBAG

    BUSH LEFTOVERS THAT LEAD US TO THIS AWFUL PLACE.

    THEY ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP OR GIVE IN UNTIL THEY

    DESTROY THIS NATION OR UNTIL THEY ARE VOTED OUT.

    I HUMBLY URGE EVERYONE DEMOCRAT OT REPUBLICAN

    TO HELP VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.

    February 14, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. katiec

    Hey, where was the bipartisan these last eight years, that, unfortunately got our country into this mess. The republicans alone
    can take the blame for this, so, since the Democrats were never
    included in the decisions they cannot be held responsible.
    As long as the republicans put party, egos, their special interests,
    inadequate and outdated ideas, non-productive tax cuts first, and
    unAmerican tactics they will never be a party we can trust to lead.
    They are self destructing as they do not give us any credit for
    intelligence and awareness that they do not care about the
    survival of us or our country.

    February 14, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Carolyn Greene

    Republicans don't want to be bipartzen in the first place. And their mouthpiece Sen. Boehner needs to take a chill and calm down and have some quiet time. As far as I can see, the republican party has only made themselves look worse. They need to stop trying to disrupt and help get this country back on its feet.

    February 14, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. bjm

    President Obama is trying to set the tone that this nation's decision-makers need to work together in a mature, thoughtful, fashion. He is leading, while encouraging not only civility, but cooperative discourse. Good job. Happy Presidents Day.

    February 14, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Carolyn Jones

    We must Remove The Republican Party

    February 14, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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