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. TjayeInLA

    LOL...I love that they put in "junk" so the Republicans can feel like they rewrote the thing.

    February 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Former Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I don't the Dems need to remove anymore items! They have given up too much already.

    February 2, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Mary

    There goes my job as a Community Nurse because they are cutting out STD's for people who can not afford to go to the doctor for treatment. Insurance and the tobacco company is going to be happy about the anti-smoking bill. Dont be mad when small businesses start laying people off because of insurance premiums. Will there be another package that will include these things. I hope that congress had to depend on the health department for their care and I know that they would not be so hard on the regular person. However they do not want to approve health care because they say it is welfare. Every person who works for the government is on welfare from the people of the United States.

    February 2, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. dwh

    What is the thinking on this decision? If people continue to die from AIDS at the rate that exists now, they won't have to worry about them looking for a job. And what about health care for those already HIV infected, or who have full blown AIDS?

    February 2, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Yes preventing people from dying of lung cancer and STD's is excessive spending... /s

    February 2, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Tom in S.A.

    Whole lot of scrubbing needs to go on.

    February 2, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. ctmom

    That bill needs a fine tooth comb.....

    February 2, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. shannon

    So are they actually going to add things that stimulate the economy, perhaps they should put some tax fraud clauses in there for members of the Obama cabinet.

    February 2, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. shinden58

    I think 400 million for STD education is a bit excessive, maybe 40 million might be more like it. I do think sex education is important even if the hard core conservitives can't stand it. Better to tell the kids the truth than to have the popping out kids wondering what is happening.

    February 2, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Fred

    From what I understand, 2/3 of the items in this bill should be pulled out, so they still have a long way to go!

    February 2, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. Brandon

    Why do the Democrats keep giving things to the Republicans and get nothing back? It just doesn't make sense.

    February 2, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    How much louder does the Voter have to scream rape befor this political body understands we will no longer stand by and let them screw us on this stimulas bill. Deleting these two pieces of porker delight is only a beginning. They need to replace it with more money into the infrastructure part of the bill..

    February 2, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. J.P.

    Where is the business case for each of the provisions in this bill?

    Can they actually prove the likelihood of economic stimulus from each line item using a simple business case analysis? Or is it really just, "Gee, we've always wanted to give more money to the NEA, so here we go! Wheeeeee! Oh yeah, don't forget this one... 'Condoms for Kindergartners!' Wheeeeee!"

    I'll be first in line to criticize Bush and his pathetic excuse for a conservative congress for their Democrat-like spending habits. But when this Democrat congress is done, they'll make Bush and Delay look thrifty by comparison.

    In a time of serious economic challenges, we've elected a bunch of committee-sitters, tongue-waggers and hand-wringers who've never actually managed a business or met a payroll. Truly pathetic. And more than pathetic, frightening on a scale we've never seen in our lifetime.

    February 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    When are they going to drop the over 4 billion for the activist groups like Acorn? The cities can fix the houses instead of them.

    February 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. Andrea

    Yes, heaven forefend that with people losing their jobs by the thousands every day we need to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars on people too stupid or lazy or irresponsible to abstain from the types of activities that cause lung cancer and herpes.

    February 2, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. MW in Calif.

    I'm a democrat for many years and I am not too thrilled by this laundry list of goodies my representatives have put into this bill. What part of INFRASTRUCTURE, AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE AND TAX RELIEF do they not seem to understand? Many of these pet projects need to be cut and presented later with other budgitary requests just not in this bill. I know the Repug's deserve a truck load of payback for their misbehavier, misdeeds and down right mismanagement of our country but we are hurting right now so save it for later. So get focused and try earning those tax dollars that pay your salaries for a change.

    February 2, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  17. Smart Package Anywhere USA

    What to put on the Stimulus Bill are... tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. Oh, and more TAX CUTS!!!

    February 2, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Jim

    If people want to smoke, and have sex without protection, they are going to do it. That is a well known fact. However, these are two small items on the ticket. 4.7B to ACORN (I guess as a reward for all the illegal votes they got in) and several others need to be on the chopping block. If this is going to be a true stimulus, ensure that it reaches the general public.

    February 2, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. No Incumbents 2010

    @ Anonymous
    Isn't it about time adults took responsibility for themselves? Why do libs think they have an obligation to take care of adults?

    February 2, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. txag92

    The entire "stimulus" bill needs to be scrubbed.

    February 2, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Why shouldn't people be responsible for stopping themselves from dying of lung cancer and STD's?

    February 2, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. John, Brooklyn, New York

    When did saving lives become "difficult to explain"? Sadly, this toothless Democratic administration is showing its stripes once again.

    February 2, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Expat in Canada

    What's cheaper in the long run – condoms and nicotine patches or health care costs for lung cancer and child care for underage mothers?

    I guess there's more money in finding a solution to the problem than in preventing the problem.

    February 2, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. skullsoup432

    I smoke after unprotected sex, so I don't mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. E

    Yeah, why think long term economic health and intelligent options for the undereducated and needy when you can rally behind worthless billion dollar cash payouts and tax cuts to bank executives.

    February 2, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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