February 2nd, 2009
04:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Dems drop anti-smoking, STD prevention from stimulus

(CNN) - Senate Democrats have dropped two controversial spending programs in the Senate economic stimulus bill: $75 million dollars for anti-smoking programs, and $400 million for STD and HIV prevention.

Two Democratic leadership sources tell CNN they did it as a “symbolic gesture” to show Republicans they are listening to their objections.

But one of the Democratic sources also admitted that “it’s hard to explain when you’re in the midst of a crisis, why these programs are important. When people are struggling and thinking about their jobs, it’s hard to make that connection.”

Republicans, and even some Democrats, have been pointing to both of these items as prime examples of “excess spending” that doesn’t belong in this stimulus bill.

But there are, of course, many other programs that Republican senators, and even some conservative Democrats still want to scrub from the bill.

Filed under: Senate
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. MysteriousTraveller

    The Republicans are never going to vote for it anyway.

    February 2, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. obama-mama

    Obama don't fold. Stand up to those idiots.

    February 2, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Obama Victim

    way to go Repubs...................keep scrubbing this Christmas tree

    February 2, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. john

    these are all things that contribute to a bad economy.....like housing defaults they are a MANIFESTATION of overspending not the root cause of the meltdown....we need to look at day to day life extras and things that contribute to overspending and health issues like CIGARRETES AND STDS GOP just does not get it

    February 2, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. JT

    If you think for one minute that the GOP wanted the anti-smoking campaign stuff removed because it has nothing to do with the stimulus, then you are a fool. They wanted it out because they are kowtowing to their tobacco lobbyists.

    That is the only reason

    February 2, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Allen in Hartwell GA

    It would appear that the Democrats are a lot more likely to give in to opposition than the Republicans were when they were in control of Congress. Granted, what they gave in on makes sense, but would the Republicans have done the same?

    February 2, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. good2know

    You just shot yourselves in foot DEMS..."excess spending" doesn't apply to the people we have to work with liivng with HIV/AIDS and STDs. Upgrading to HD Television is not more important than saving lives through prevention. Thanks for not standing for the many who voted for you.

    *bows head in shame*

    February 2, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. JohnnyBee

    The entire stimulis package needs to be stopped. It will NOT help the economy at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Jefferson Handcock

    now get rid of the free lunch: It doesnt make sense to receive food stamps and free lunch: There has to be some changes everywhere. and I'm a Obama Supporter but change includes us all: Dahsle should withdrawl, plain and simple.

    February 2, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Michael

    Even a lot of Democrats think the Obama/Pelosi bill is full of wastful pork that will do nothing for jobs or the economy. NICE START OBAMA. The whole country now knows you are not a moderate, but a flaming liberal just like Pelosi. LOL in 2012.

    February 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Obama 2.0

    I don't think these things should be in the stimulus, but they should be done anyway because the fact is that they save money. Thre problem is Idealogical. Sorta like a "Cash for keys" program in finance. The Idealoges say, Why should we pay people money to move out of homes they failed on. It ain't right they are the ones that are falling back on their payments/responsibilities. I agree, it is not right, but it is cheaper to pay someone $500.00 to give you the keays and not destroy the home then to pay an attorney and a year & $4.5k later file a writ. we need to do both be pragmatic and smart dollarwise and educate people and change the culture so that we reduce the percentages that default, The same with Smoking and Aids

    February 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Dana from NY

    Symbolic gesture- thats fine- but if the Dems start agreeing to those God awful tax cuts/tax breaks that the Repugs are pushing I will be highly dissapointed!!

    February 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Matt

    Keep in mind that anti-smoking and STD prevention are issues that, by and large, affect low-income commuinties far more profoundly than any other communities. Preventing progress on these issues lessens the power of those communities and helps keep them down. It's not wonder these provisions angered the GOP.

    February 2, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Tesap:Savannah, GA

    ????? I know the repubs wanted these things out, but they were cost savers..........

    February 2, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. BB

    Good – smokers "ain't gonna quit" and neither are the other group.

    February 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Mobius

    Hahahahaha @ 'symbolic gesture'. Here, go smoke and catch the clap.


    February 2, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. R

    Not because issues are important, means that they need to be including in this bill. They need to focus on strictly things that will help the economy.

    February 2, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. chris@stl

    I would like them publish the name/s of the reps who included these non-stimulus items in the bill to begin with. So, the country will know who these out of touch reps are.

    February 2, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. AnnMM

    They should drop all non economic stimulus programs from the bill. I'm a big Obama supporter but now is not the time for any of this. We're teetering on the edge of another great depression, we can't afford anything but the nuts and bolts.

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Trecia M.

    If government drops the ball when it comes to AIDS/HIV prevention in the end it will take a terrible strain on health care, society etc. I wouldn't be surprised if this concession takes America a few steps back in the fight against this virus. Maybe the stimulus isn't the place to address this plague but it needs to be done for all our sakes.

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    $400 million for STD and HIV prevention

    Incoherent after all the funds for Africa for Aids...!

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. obama-mama

    People need jobs right now. They won't have money to buy cigs anyway....STD prevention is needed especially for our young people.

    February 2, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Boston Irish

    They did it as a "symbolic gesture"? Well considering how loud the public outcry was for money going for this, I don't think it's "symbolic" at all. I just think the Dems finally came to their senses and started listening (for a change) to what the public requested. It's about time. After all, without the public, they would be in the unemployment lines along with everyone else.

    February 2, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. JB

    That's a shame because both could lead to health care cost savings. Too bad repubs can't think long term and can only think in terms of tax cuts.

    February 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. good2know

    People are selling their bodies at alarming rates in order to survive. This is not a joking and cowardly matter. The people of this country are facing foreclosures, bankruptcies, and other stress factors. While you remove these dollars, keep in mind that you will not need a stimulus bill to boost the economy, but a stimulus to bury the many people who will lose their lives because of the lack of support. You think Africa deserved a commercial, I hope we book airtime and missionaries from Russia and China for our sickly sooner than later. And to mention–having been working in Public Health for sometime these dollars keep people employed and services to keep people healthy. This is really unfair and I am so sick to my stomach to DEMS giving in. Grow some!

    February 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5