January 29th, 2009
12:29 PM ET
9 years ago

GOP senators 'split' on how to proceed on stimulus bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/29/art.getty.mitch.mcconnell.jpg caption=" According to the GOP sources, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, wants a 'smaller, narrower' bill."](CNN) - There is a "real split" in the Senate Republican caucus over the best way to proceed on the president's stimulus package, Senate GOP sources tell CNN's Gloria Borger, especially in the wake of Thursday's House vote on that measure that drew unanimous dissent from Republicans.

According to the GOP sources, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, wants a “smaller, narrower” bill, which primarily includes tax cuts as well as some housing relief.

There is another group — including some conservatives like Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and some moderates like Susan Collins, R-Maine — working to craft a larger package that would include more of the infrastructure spending the president and Democrats are supporting.

But generally, the GOP sources say, the party is looking for more concessions from President Obama on spending.

The fact that the House Republicans were unified in their opposition to the plan — and that some fiscal conservative Democrats voted against it — also puts pressure on GOP Senate moderates to tow the party line. In addition, polls indicate constituents are mixed in their support for the stimulus package.

“We want it to be bipartisan and effective,” says Collins, a target of White House lobbying, who spoke at length with Vice President Biden, Budget Director Peter Orzag and Obama Economic adviser Larry Summers early on in the process.

“My constituents don’t want a huge, expensive package that doesn’t do the job.“ Collins also said. “The president needs to hold the line and Republicans need to make a good faith effort [to get something done.]"

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Zac, Atlanta

    Banking Insurance: $8.2 trillion
    Financial Sector Bailout: $700 billion
    Iraq War: $629 billion (and counting)

    Tax cuts and spending for the rest of us: 0

    GOP: Always looking out for who?

    January 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Frank, Las Vegas

    Send the GOP home for good next cycle. The GOP has become the "Grand Obstructionist Party". They can't even understand that the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike voted in November for a new path for our great country. The GOP is still playing the same old politics of the past which the American people Rejected.

    January 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Connie

    Really people it would be cheaper if they would give everyone in the USA 1 million dollars. Do away with welfare and let people live off the million dollars. Americans could spend it how they like and that would stimulate spending and be a whole lot cheaper than 850 billion. Think about how it would help the Auto industry?

    January 29, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Bill Charlotte, NC

    I am just absolutely dumbfounded that these repubs that got us into this mess would have us believe that they have suddenly become economic experts. Why have they waited until the Democrats are trying to do something before they have suddenly decided to either create their own plan or sabotage Obama's. I have lost almost all of my savings and pension with these worthless idiots in charge and now they want to undermine what someone else offers.

    January 29, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Jill-In

    Many of these Congressmen and Senators have served in that capacity for many years and look what it has gotten us to. No oversight, look the other way, free market bull, send out the best jobs oversees and incentives to the high powered banks and investment bankers to make the green eared market analysts happy. Now these US representatives are all experts in how to get us out of trouble and not to vote for a plan because they know best?

    January 29, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7