February 2nd, 2009
09:41 AM ET
12 years ago

McCain says he'd vote against current stimulus bill


Watch McCain discuss the stimulus bill on American Morning Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain says he'd vote against the bill backed by President Obama to pump up the economy.

The former GOP presidential nominee said Monday on CNN's "American Morning" that he's working with a group of fellow Republican senators to come up with an alternative package that emphasizes payroll tax cuts, incentives for people to stay in their homes, and an end to the stimulus spending when the economy begins to recover.

Related: Senators work for bipartisan support on stimulus

The Senate is expected to begin debate Monday on a nearly $900 billion stimulus plan. An $819 billion dollar version of the bill passed the House of Representatives last week without a single Republican vote. All 177 GOP House members voted against the legislation, saying it was too heavy on spending and too thin on tax cuts.

McCain's hungry for more tax cuts in the bill, saying "we would like too to see more incentives such as a $15,000 tax credit for home ownership. We would like to see elimination of these policy changes which have nothing to do with jobs, we want the stimulus package to focus on jobs."

And McCain says that some provisions in the current bill, crafted by Congressional Democrats, need to go, adding that "many of the policy changes they put in have nothing to do with stimulating the economy."

The senator from Arizona also called for serious negations with the Democrats who run the Senate, saying that '"we are clearly prepared to sit down, discuss, negotiate, a try to get a stimulus package that will create jobs. We all know how tough the economy is. It's been rammed through the Senate so far, we need to seriously negotiate. We haven't done that yet. We can do it, though."

More: McCain says Democrats need to 'seriously negotiate'

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (594 Responses)
  1. John

    Partisanship helps maintain a balance in government. If both parties agreed all of the time, it could be a very dangerous situation, bordering on an authoritarian regime. The fact of the matter is that this stimulus bill, like the last bail-out, is not perfect and just as subject to being pork-loaded. Just because Obama's in office doesn't mean that everything is totally different, these are still politicians we're talking about. Oh an P.S, it's freaking John McCain, of course he's going to be bitter after losing the election, so don't act so appalled.

    February 2, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. RJ

    For the last time, the "American People" did not all vote for Obama.
    48% voted against him and the Democratic party.
    So put down the "Yes we can" kool-aid and recognize that WE ALL have to figure this out. That means EVERYONE needs to work TOGETHER.

    This "stimulus" bill is nothing but a SPENDING bill.
    This bill needs to be trimmed of ANYTHING that does not create real and lasting jobs.
    (federal) Payroll tax cuts will help, but they won't do it all.
    But there needs to be a better solution that re-sodding the lawn at the national mall.
    That's an 8 week job tops and requires mostly unskilled labor to perform it.
    Hardly what I would call "lasting stimulus".

    February 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. SUE

    We voted Obama in for a reason. Could John keep his mouth shut and let America have change. It is what we voted for. We did not vote for someone who told us our economy was fine until the day it crashed.

    February 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. WayneVT

    Hey I'm on the liberal side of the fence and I voted for Obama, but there has to be some compromise. There needs to be some serious scrutiny of this bill and as long as McCain can do it with a non-partisan approach...then I interested in hearing what he has to say. Yeah Palin was a huge mistake - but there's a hell of a lot of us regular citizens who have made mistakes too. For example, a large percentage of us apparently don't know how to manage our credit wisely. If we had behaved more responsibly for the past 10 – 20 years, we wouldn't be in this mess. We ALL need to be accountable and step up and do our part. Let's start by living within our means!

    February 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. David

    I want a full list of the provisions that the republicans want removed from the stimulus package. Personally, I think it’s only fair that, as an American, I be able to ask the Senators what they don’t like in the package and get a complete list from them. I don’t want an alternative package; I want a list of the items in THIS package that they do not like. Very simple. If they can’t understand that, then maybe they don’t have the I.Q. to be Senators.

    CNN, please get us that list before this package is voted on. Thanks.

    February 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Kevin, Austin TX

    I think McCain and the Repubs need to understand this, because I know Obama does... We want to work with you. We don't have to. The power has shifted, so your vote Mr. McCain isn't as needed. Your ideas are wanted though, but not if they are more of the same. More tax cuts for the wealthy didn't work – did it? And the electorate voted in an adminstration and congress to go in a different direction.

    So be the obstructionist that you are and good luck to you.

    February 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. obama all the way

    mccain are you crazy?? aren't you the man who didn't know how many houses you owned, the man who said our economy was fundamentaly strong, the man who said palin was his soul mate, and you want the dems. to negotiate, go away mccain, you are discusting!

    February 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Joanna

    I like the bill as it is, but i do think its needs a whole lot more for the housing crisis. This is very important to take care of asap.

    February 2, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |


    February 2, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. cool onlooker

    Seriously? Does it matter if you vote for or against? Yesterday's story.
    It doesn't surprise anyone if McCain keeps voting against anything, because that is the difference between winner and l.....

    February 2, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Barbara Middletown NY

    Seriously John, you didn't win because you are clueless about the economy. Do you really think that your opinion of the Stimulus Plan matters to anyone? What we're seeing is a sore loser and proof of someone that doesn't care anymore about the American people than he does about our Vets (remember voting against Senator Webb's bill?).

    February 2, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Winston Smith

    I agree that the Stimulus package needs work but, it is clear..that the Republicans have made their little mind's up to be obstructionists in this process.

    February 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Griff

    You should know: John... The World is in Hock, It will take a Whole different way of thinking, to get out of this one.

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Jinny Lee

    Boy those Republicans sure have a short-memory span .... got us in this mess in the first place .... whatever Bush wanted .... i.e. trillion for Iraq ...... no negotiations deemed necessary .... now they act like they're the saviors of this country ....but guess what....we know where you are coming from ... it won't work this time.....American people first!

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. JGBNY

    Wow, I see everyone trashing McCain.

    Well, I have a newsflash for you. The Democrats created this MESS, NOT the republicans. And as far as trashing McCain, you stupid liberals better wake up before Obamanation completely DESTROYS what's left of this country.

    And for all of you WELFARE COLLECTORS, you can kiss that goodbye as well, because there will be NO MONEY LEFT FOR YOU!!!

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. CA Indie for Obama

    McCain wants more $$ for job creation, not unrelated items. so how does a tax credit for homeownership create jobs? It is a worthy ideal to help homeowners keep their homes, but it seems to me to be contrary to his comments.
    Get rid of pork projects, focus on programs that create the most GDP per $1 of govt spending (which includes food stamps, child/health care and infrastructure per GAO or Budget Office; forgot which agency generates such reports) and tax cuts. No "pork" unless it creates at least 100 (or a 1,000) jobs, then it would not be considered only pork. Our economy is reflecting what has transpired over the last 8 years with tax cuts to the wealthy and no regulatory oversight. doing the same and expecting different results is insanity. Something different, at least, has a chance to succeed.

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. P. Y.

    This guy is such a joke. The same old story from him and all the Republicans. " The rich come first ". Does anyone actually believe that this man is out for " country first " ? if you do, you are in " la la " land.

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. MsRotten

    Listen, my friends.....we didn't care what McShame had to say during his campaign.....do you really think we care about the hot air he's spewing NOW....my friends?!

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Mike in Columbus

    I'm a registered Democrat, and a firm supporter of Obama... voted for him in the primary and GE...

    But, I'm with the Republicans on this one. Bipartisanship is exactly what we asked for when we voted. The Democratic congress better realize this too! This must be a joint effort. This bill is NOT a stimulus bill as it is now.

    Before we spend 750+ billion of BORROWED money, we better make sure we are spending it on the right stuff!

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. gl, Pittsburgh

    MCain is just mad becasue President Obama have beaten if twice, for the Presidenty and the Super Bowl.

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. tree

    1) mccaine – you lost – go home and take Palin with you
    2) You picked a african american to head the RNC but you wont render your support to Pres Obama and didnt like "that one" because he is African American SO I ASK .. what was your purpose in choosing an African American to head the DNC.........hhhhmmmmm!
    This is so hypocritical

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Beverly, NYC

    He probably hasn't read it. He couldn't be bothered to read Paulson 3 pages on the first bank bailout even though he voted for that one. So much for COUNTRY FIRST ! Arizona isn't it time to retire Mr. McCain?

    February 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. ronnie

    The GOP had better consider what the American people want and the American people want the stimulus. Whatever pork that needs to be removed will be because we are no longer in a luxrury economy. If the GOP won't get on board you run the risk of losing those seats that you have gotten so comfortable with.

    February 2, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. John

    Why is there never any mention that 11 House Democrats also voted no on the stimulus bill?

    February 2, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Soccer Nana

    McCain is literally campaiging for reelection to his Arizona senate seat. He is trying to make up for the nightmare he created by selecting Palin as his running mate, which caused the Republicans to easily lose the last presidential election. LOL

    This is FREE campaigning. This man does not care about anyone's money woes. He has all the money he will ever need.

    If he and all the others who seem to "all-of-a-sudden" have a problem/issue with the stimulus spending would have voiced as much concern months ago, perhaps we would not be in this predicament now. Why be verbal later when you SHOULD have been more verbal earlier?

    February 2, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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