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. Craig Nazor

    The Republicans don't want bipartisanship. They believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. And if there are Republicans that may disagree with this, the right wing is threatening them with things like funding for opponents, radio attacks, etc. Because the Democrats have the votes, America will do this, and it will work or it won't work. If it doesn't work, the Republicans will have a heyday crowing that they were right. If it does work (and I believe it will), the Republicans will spin it to make it seem as if they had something to do with it.

    And so it goes, and it will turn even more people off to politics. So much for personal integrity!

    February 14, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Larry

    The answer to having bipartisanship is simple :

    Have a bill that helps the citizens of our country.

    Republicans will vote for it--

    February 14, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Barbara Campbell

    Sorry neocons. President Obama reached out and the final stimulus bill was a compromise. If you choose to slap the extended hand, don't bother with claims that the Democrats are not bipartisan. The American people are on to your propaganda and your agenda, and we aren't buying either.

    February 14, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Slickingdon in N.J.

    Every time the repubs get a chance at bi-partisanship they throw it on the
    ground, spit and stomp on it, then claim "what bipartisanship ?" America
    tried it their way for 8 years and now the country is in an economic disaster. The Dems extend their hand out and they still don't want it.
    The repubs should offer something constructive and different from the
    last 8 years or just keep their mouths shut..... Period !!!!!

    February 14, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Walter, Florence Italy

    Bipartisanship requires at least two parties. It doesn't work with one party and one dangerous religious cult filled with knuckle-dragging cave men.

    February 14, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Pat, CA

    Lisa B February 14th, 2009 1:57 pm ET - YOU, Lisa B, have some NERVE to bring up "herd mentality." THAT is exactly what got Obama elected.

    As for the Republicans in Congress, they were elected by the majority constituents in their states who were conservatives. It is their responsibility to represent this conservative view with due diligence - that's why they were elected.

    February 14, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. no corporate politics

    "bipartisan" is just another Obama fairy tale. He had no intention of reaching across the aisle.

    And as usual, his failure to do as promised is just someone else's fault.

    February 14, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Heather in Seattle

    The way I see it is Obama and much of the democratic congress tried to negotiate with the republicans and made several concessions to them in the stimulus but they still couldn't come around because it wasn't their way. The truth is the country is in trouble and Obama is proving himself as a leader and making things happen.

    February 14, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. kerry

    For the last eight years the Republicans have been spending billions
    a dollars a month on two wars and a wrecked economy yet when
    someone comes in with some new ideas or at the very least with a
    new perspective they want to say "Too much money". I just wish those
    Republicans who don't want to be part of the solution........would get
    the hell out of the way and quit being part of the problem.

    February 14, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. 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 free money for Cobra insurance to the unemployed create jobs when it requires you to be unemployed to receive it? 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 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. tumbacan

    I think we should stop all referring to them as Republicans instead the term should be Nazipublicans as the following statement from David Duke commenting to the election of Michael Still as GOP chairman clearly states that the party has been infiltrated and taken over by the KKK

    "As a former Republican official, I can tell you that millions of rank-and-file Republicans are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore! We will either take the Republican Party back over the next four years or we will say, “To Hell With the Republican Party!” And we will take 90 percent of Republicans with us into a New Party that will take its current place!" David Duke.

    Is worth mentioning the to my knowledge no Klansmen has campaigned as a Democrats and if you look at the elections map you can clearly see that the majority of support for the Republican ticket came from places like Appalachia, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas). All Klan strongholds and even all their rallies resembled Klan rallies

    The vast majority of the people of this country do not support terrorist groups that advocate hatred and violence and fortunately for this country Bush's failures have left exposed a rotten vain that threatened to poison all its citizens along racial lines.

    The world is watching and will not tolerate another Nazi Germany for just as God raised this country to fight genocide, it will raise another country against it. Of course that will mean WWIII or worst.

    So for those Rephusnicks now in congress my advice it to concentrate on evicting all those Klansmen from their party if they ever want to be a credible and functioning party again and in the meantime do what’s best for the country.

    February 14, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Larry from RI

    Which party reached out and which party bit the hand that was extended to it by our President?

    The GOP
    The party of obstruction
    The party of no ideas
    The party of the wealthy old white guys
    The party of exclusion
    The party that got us into this mess
    The party of NO
    The party that is cementing its own legacy into the party of the past – you betcha!

    February 14, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. John

    I just don't understand the GOP mentality. Who is leading this party anyway? Its almost laughable when you think about it. These people are constantly pulling the noose tighter and tighter around their necks. Committing suicide must ne a new thing for Republicans, Next election is going to be a turkey shoot when they see their numbers drop even lower and lower than anytime in American Political history. Someone better take the reins in the GOP before all of them become just another irrelevent political party. Lincoln must be turning over in his grave after seeing what a joke the GOP has become.

    February 14, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. The Last Patriot

    It is great how everyone gets riled up about Democrats versus Republicans and makes this into a football game.

    But at the end of the day, we are talking about almost one trillion dollars added to the debt. One trillion. Who is going to pay for that?

    Calling Republicans silly names wont pay that one trillion dollars. The next generations wont care about political parties, they will be focused on a mountain of debt restricting all aspects of life.

    February 14, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. linda

    Alfred Neumann-you need to stop with your republican out burst against our President-I guess you were ok when bush stole and lied about everything-didn't know anything and still don't ,look what he has done left this U.S.A. in a pure mess and you along with it,so don't hate on a true man who is bigger & better than bush,-he may be of mixed color but his true color which is "Black",and his family is also,donot speak unless you have walked in his shoes- just like the same old tired old men in the republican party why don't these old men retire & live their days out-nope they are so greedy and in a mole that soon will be or already has been broken,we don't have to remember that he is of mixed race so is half the world look at your people in office,they also played between the sheets and had or have mixed relatives-what is your excuse?

    February 14, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Steph

    All of the tax cuts in this bill are a big present to the Repubs, and they are still whining. Enough with them! Do they not realize that all of the American people just watched Obama and the democrats reach out to them only to get their hands slapped. How stupid do they think we are?

    February 14, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Ex-Republican for Obama - TX

    Bud Burgoon-Clark is right. It doesn't matter what party you are with. All that matters to the people you can't see because your heads are in the air; if you do what we elected you to do. I urge the republican party to do what is best for the american people. Believe me, this is one republican who just left the party for good. So long...

    February 14, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. linda

    The republicans are not trying to meet Obama half way-all they want is for him to fail like the republican party has done-but like I said before when u are digging one ditch you better be digging two when you are trying to disrespect someone-for what goes around comes around & these so call politicians in the republican party is just that so call. they are really trying to conspire against him but it will not work,which is stupid on the republican party,so they need to get a grip and get a life, and just try to lend a helping hand instead of being down right arrogant and disrespectful-remember they too have to be reelected again and they have not started on the right foot yet.

    February 14, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. John

    Rush rules REPUGS

    February 14, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Ron L

    EVERYONE needs to take a close look at this objectively. Here are the facts:
    1) President Bush cut taxes during a time of war!! This has been unheard of before. EVERYONE knows the cost of war puts a strain on the economy and the Republicans and Bush did not care!!
    2) The Republicans have set policy for 7 of the last 8 years and America is NOT in better shape by any stretch of the imagination!!
    3) The Republicans have been losing elections BECAUSE more and more Americans see the country going in the wrong direction.
    4) The Republicans seem to think Bipartisan means GIVE ME ALL I WANT or I vote NO!! This is crap!!
    5) The Republicans seem to be STUCK mentally, while the nation is moving forward. Taxbreaks for someone who DOES NOT have a job is meaningless!!
    This country is in a REAL MESS, and frankly it is time to really work together and COMPROMISE. There is NO TIME for Hard ball tactics or Pure Politics!! I believe President Obama is much more in touch with what the AVERAGE American needs from it's government in this trying time in our history. ( Community Organizing) Many of these well too do Republicans don't GET IT. I bet if the only had $1,000 in the bank, their rent/mortgage was $800.00 and they just got a layoff notice their prespective would be a lot different.

    February 14, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. 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 free money for Cobra insurance to the unemployed create jobs when it requires you to be unemployed to receive it? 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 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. The Truth

    It's not being partisan when you refuse to vote for an $800 billion, ear-marked loaded, horribly put together, pork-spending bill. It is, however, partison when you put such a bill together behind closed doors, allowing almost no input from the other party, close the committee proceedings and don't give anyone except a small handful of your own party members time to read the bill before it's put to a vote.

    February 14, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. D.Tin

    President Obama now that you have tried bipartisanhip, and it was rejected and ignored, you now know where you stand with the angry right wing republicans. You have done your part, the next move on bipartisanship should come from them.

    February 14, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. linda

    The republicans are so busy being nasty and dishonest that they have lost all perspective of the american people-when will they learn what will it take for them to extend a little courtesy towards the Democrats and their work-we know you can agree to disagree,but not like the way they are carrying on now,it's ridiculous how they are acting,they are conspiring against the Democrats for whatever reason but they are the ones who will suffer most and has been the ones to suffer,no american trust them or want to reelect them in office-and I can't blame them-for they are still asleep on valuable issues for the amerian people who pays their salaries,if they can stop cheating & lying & being greed maybe they can get somewhere in this messy world that they have put us americans in.

    February 14, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Erphan from LA

    All you republican bashers:

    what is wrrong with you people? you liberals are always up on us republicans! We're conservatives ok? We try to stay as least involved in the lives of the American people while maintaining order and a smooth operation of daily programs! We've had a democratic legaslative branch since 2006, has anyhing gotten better? NOPE, its gotten worse!

    Why are you blaming republicans for the problems in the economy! the crisis is caused by subprime mortgages! not by republicans or democrats! now we are all americans and its our responsobility to make the country better but we have different viuews on how to do so!

    Obama's idea of bipartisanship is the republicans act as a rubber stamp for the democrats and thats it! we will not accept this the democrats have to make decent compromises with us!

    lets all watch obama crash and burn and then we'll see who brought america to where it is now!

    February 14, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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