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. Gary

    Lets drop the whole stimulus crap! You don't build an economy on excessive debt. Cut government spending! reduced the deficit. keep taxes where they are. Shift money from "hand out" programs to infrastructure programs (roads, bridges and electrical grids). Lets get back to a real economy based on hard work, saving, investing and a strong currency and get rid of this attitude that the government give us free stuff and we don't have to work hard and we can all retire at 65. It's just not possible. Every single citizen needs to work! No exceptions! No more welfare! No free healthcare! The social security retirement age needs to be raised to 75! It is the only way we are going to succeed in the longrun.

    February 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    No more bailouts, no more free money for wall street bonuses.

    February 2, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Stonewall, Florida

    As a Democrat, I endore the removal of any unnecessary spending that will further baloon the deficit while not stimulating the economy. That said, be careful of what the Republicans are asking and or want. It is astonishing that their current watcful eyes were temporarily closed over the last eight years . They are now out of their deep slumber and are eager, to speak out "in the interest of the American people."

    Imagine 177 different minds, having the same train of thought, voting the same way. No independent thinking.

    Mark these words, they will oppose every action, bill, policy etc. that eminates from the White House or from their Democratic counterparts, as this is what they'll have to do becoasue they are so few in number. Find a camera, make empty noise.

    February 2, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Nourisha

    it's a good start but seriously, this bill using my money needs to get at the heart of the crisis. those programs, no matter how admirable or needed, don't get at the economic crisis we face. they need to get their stuff together and do their job right. i can't wait to vote my people out if they are clowning around on my dime!

    February 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    So who wrote this bill???

    Has Obama read it at all?

    If he hasn't read it, why does he support it?

    February 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Steph

    Wouldn't people need to be hired to provide more health services (either in smoking cessation or sexual health education programs)? Why do people think that we only need jobs building bridges and fixing roads? This money would be used to expand health services AND provide jobs. We need jobs in construction, education, health services, information technology, and on and on and on....

    February 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. riccarlo, Cal

    It makes sense to strengthen the plan but not for political reasons. Americans need results not complaints. Congress has a low rating for the examples now in view; it doesn't work well as a body. People are suffering and all the conservatives can do is pick at the wound.

    Maybe, the President has a better chance outside of the normal channels. God bless America!

    February 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Rick Roberts

    Now we are getting somewhere. Obama is letting the GOP know that he is trying to work with them. Now let's see if the GOP is willing to work with him.
    Hey everyone, I'm hurting here. I don't give a flying flip who takes credit for this. JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!!
    If the GOP had all these great ideas, why in hell didn't they tell everyone before. I do believe that some of the items on the present bill are a little iffy but why not just come out and help from the beginning?
    I really think we need term limits for Congress. Some of these folks have been there so long, they forgot what the real world id all about.

    February 2, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Terry

    Keep up cutting the pork out...it's a real oinker....slap man's cologne all over a pig and it's still a pig. Oink...Oink

    February 2, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Matt

    Note: Some of what was in the bill was there just for this purpose...dropping it to appease GOPers. I wonder if they realize that or if they're just happy to live in a delusional playland in which they think they've scored some points. Dopes.

    February 2, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Ray Fisher

    When the nation is on its rump, we must insist on a no-nonsense bare bones approach to our economy and our nation as a whole. The days of living off of debt spending and irresposibility are over because we cannot afford them any longer. Recovery means paying off debt not incurring more debt. We have already mortgaged several future generations of Americans and must stop before we kill our nation permenantly. Reponsible government begins with responsible citizens and as we must all stop living on credit so must our government. Some stimulus is required to keep people from starving and to revive the economy however, family planning and ancillary non-economy related items can wait till later. First we get the economy rolling again and then deal with our energy situation!!!

    February 2, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Ray Ray

    Now ... drop money for ACORN, aid to countries performing free abortions, and other PORK that won't create ONE NEW JOB!

    February 2, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. ali

    I know,this Republican of today is not really care for their citizen.They 're exactly think ill!

    February 2, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Diana Ewing NJ

    Having COPD myself and two cousins with HEP C, I can tell you why they are important.... it is called health issues..

    February 2, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Hope

    The art of Negotiation, lets have a list of all must haves from both sides obviously skewed towards democrats being the majority. 1 Trillion is nothing compared to 6 trillion deficit with nothing to show.

    February 2, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. sableeyesandspindlelegs

    Strange things to put into an economic stimulus bill, really. Killing the cigarette industry with an anti-smoking program is definitely the way to go.

    But, still, a boost for the condom industry on the other side.

    Why are these things in the stimulus bill? Get our economy back on track first, Congress, then deal with the other stuff.

    February 2, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Melissa from New Orleans

    I'm very thoroughly a Democrat, but even I disapproved of those things being added. Good for them getting rid of that.

    February 2, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Obama 2.0

    And another thing, This thing about spreading the wealth is bogus and I will tell you why. No one was saying anything when the early settlers came to America and the Natives "Spread the wealth by feeding them clothing them and teaching them how to survive. No one was complaining when they made the Indians leave NC on foot and go to Oklahoma so that the settlers could make better use of their lands. Spreading the wealth is BS. The fact is that everyone of us that is alive has had help from someone, whether a family member or an employer. No one has ever don it all on their own with their own resouces. we just seam to conveniently forget these facts when we get greedy and feel entitled to stuff.

    February 2, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. no to corporate politics

    “symbolic gesture” – Symbolic of the reality that the House and Senate is not just going to roll over because the new president threatens and tries to lobby through his faithful followers. (wasn't he against lobbying?)

    Unrelated pork – same old politics! Bonus question – which broken campaign promise are we up to including the lobbying?

    February 2, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Shame on them!

    HIV has killed tens of thousands and continues to infect an estimated 1 million Americans...with the infection rate on the rise once again.

    Its pretty sad to think that the "Democratic sources" would find it "hard to explain when you're in the midst of a crisis, why these programs are important". Apparently saving lives just doesn't quite measure up to Democratic standards anymore now that they are more interesting in throwing some red meat at the ravenous Republicans. No doubt, instead of HIV prevention, we'll be getting moer tax cuts for the rich.

    Shame on you, Democrats. I thought this was change we could believe in....not jaded politics as usual. Don't DARE wear your red ribbons this year!

    February 2, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    You can cut a lot more crap out of this bill. Scrap it and start over only this time take the ideas from the U S Cirizen.

    February 2, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Once again....the Democrats have decided to throw the GLBT community and their needs under the proverbial bus to appease intolerant Republicans.

    Democrats...beware...Its a huge mistake to take the GLBT members of your base for granted.

    February 2, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. DaveS

    Kill it.

    February 2, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. FreeNLovIt

    These are great programs! What's wrong? They want kids to keep smoking? STDs? We should try to prevent it. If you dont want abortion, you should help prevent STDs and pregnancy-related activities.

    February 2, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. James

    I'm glad they dropped those spending programs. If they think they are going to stop a substantial amount of people from smoking or having sex, they are greatly mistaken. There's a lot more pork in that bill that should be cut out also. Such as $400 Million for "global warming research". I don't want my tax dollars being spent on that.

    February 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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