February 2nd, 2009
02:18 PM ET
14 years ago

Senate Republicans unveil alternative stimulus

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.martinez.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Mel Martinez put together an alternative stimulus measure."](CNN) - Republican senators have unveiled a $713 billion alternative stimulus measure put together by GOP Sen. Mel Martinez.

The measure, obtained by CNN, narrows government spending to infrastructure programs and helping unemployed Americans, addresses the housing crisis, and relies mostly on tax cuts.

Read the measure [PDF]

It remains unclear how many Republican senators have signed onto the measure, but it is a broader approach than the GOP leadership has called for. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he wants to limit the stimulus to tax cuts and addressing the housing crisis

But the measure is narrower in scope than the Democratic plan because it eliminates spending on many of the government programs that many Republicans, and some Democrats, believe should not be in the stimulus package.

The broad breakdown:

$430 billion dollars on tax cuts.

$114 billion for infrastructure projects.

$138 billion for extending unemployment insurance, food stamps and other provisions to help “Americans in need.”

$31 billion to address the housing crisis ($11 billion for a loan modification program, $20.4 billion in tax incentives for home purchases, $50 million to temporarily increase loan limits for Freddie, Fannie and FHA)

Filed under: Senate
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. TjayeInLA

    At what point will they realize that tax cuts only benefit those with jobs, money and property. They have been pushing this tax cuts bit for decades and it doesn't work. They are so wrapped in their own world that they can't comprehend what is going on in OUR WORLD.

    February 2, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    We are at war and taxes are needed to support our military personnel with replacing damaged equipment and to ensure that they have the best personal protective equipment. Also, our infrastructure is part of our nation defense and the have not been maintained or upgraded under Republican control because they want to bankrupt the nations with their "all too precious tax cuts."

    Congress DOES NOT have the authority to cut taxes. READ the Constiution of the United States and tell me where in the LAW OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA does it give the POTUS and the Members of Congress the right to cut taxes (the Constitution is also the job duties, position description, and requirements of the three branches of the United States of America's government). I double dare you.

    February 2, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Flabbergasted


    Wake up people. We are in this mess because of the failed policies of both DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS. Anybody wanting to point the finger at the dems can look at the failed housing policies of the Clinton administration that started us down the path to the collapse of the housing industry. Then they can point at the mess in both houses of congress since the Dems took them over, with idiots like Frank, Pelosi, Reid, and Dodd. On the other side, all you have to do is look at the failed policies of the Bush administration to see the Republican's share of the blame in all this.

    Look, spending, when abused, brings this country to it's knees. Tax cuts, when abused, does the same thing. But it will be a sensible combination of spending and tax cuts that will put this country back on track. You Republican haters need to at least see the details of the tax cuts proposed before you attack them, otherwise you are just knee-jerk shills for everything that is wrong with our political system. You're just spouting the liberal rhetoric of Pelosi and Reid.

    February 2, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. John NC

    Obama promised that if he were elected, seniors who make less than $50k would not have to pay taxes. I don't see that in there.

    February 2, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. tax cuts haven't solved things

    Over the last eight years, we've had colossal tax cuts, and where has it gotten us?

    February 2, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Rick Wilson

    Now they have the "GREAT PLAN". It is like watching the Saturday morning cartoons. The GOP party is trying soooo hard to be something better, but the last 8 years have exposed just how out of touch and partisan they really are. To me it is watching some OLD idea getting run over by the new. I would give the GOP a little advice. MOVE AHEAD, STEP ASIDE OR GET RUN OVER. The American people are sick and tired of the same old out dated GOP politics. Every day the play politics real people are loosing jobs, retirement, and their homes the American dream. Change has come and the GOP is getting left behind.
    Rick Wilson

    February 2, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. pjartco

    As a Democrat, I have to say that the Republicans have some good ideas. Their additional tax cuts are reducing the Alternate Minimum Tax, which affects working families, and they are proposing $300 tax credits/payments to seniors. Usually, their tax breaks are for large corporations, other businesses, and rich people. This proposal actually helps the people who need help, and who will spend the money, thus helping the economy. Their other good proposal is $31 billion to address the housing crisis. I disagree with their cutting funds that would go for infrastructure building, thus creating jobs. However, a line by line review must be made to make sure that no money is spent on some of the nonsense projects that we have been reading about. (Honey bee studies, planned parenthood) These things do not belong in this particular bill.

    February 2, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. scdemocrat

    Republicans will never cease to amaze me. THEY get us into this financial disaster with their "trickle down" economics, and "free market" malarchy, THEN they turn around and say that the way to get out of it is "trickle down" economics and "free market" solutions. That would be like a fireman throwing a bucket of FIRE on the fire . It makes NO sense. I still can't find anyone who can explain to me why that when President Clinton raised the taxes on the top 1% ,and used an economic model that helped elevate those at the bottom, thereby lifting those at the top (a rising tide lifts all boats) we ended up with a surplus. Then in 8 short years, the trickle down/free market policies of the Republicans have left our country in financial ruin. Why should we use the Republican model again?

    February 2, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. RJ

    All of you complaining about the tax cuts... DID YOU EVEN READ IT?!
    It's spelled out pretty clearly WHO will get them.
    All you Dems are so bent on bashing Republicans that you don't even bother READING what is put right in front of you.

    It clearly states that EVERYONE (Rich, poor and in between) will get a 3.1% tax cut for the next two years.

    That's money in your pocket right now in the form of more money in your paycheck.

    Cutting business taxes on both small and large businesses by 10%.

    Extending unemployment benefits until the end of the year.... TAX FREE.

    Adding $8 billion in food stamps.

    And not one single dime towards condoms.

    February 2, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Leviticus

    Rob you are incredibly raciest. period.

    February 2, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. mike,texas

    Its time the dems do the right thing and bring the corporate tax base back to 1950 and 1960 levels.Which history will show america grew fast.And stop listening to the people who through pure partisan politics got us in this mess.It will take partisan politics to fix it.Its time for the republiacn party to be part of the solution and stop being the problem.

    February 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Andy J, Upstate NY

    Ok, first of all the tax cuts are for ALL workers. Also, the corporate rate is dropped from %35 to %25, and the rest goes to SMALL BUSINESSES.

    There is $25 BILLION MORE for infrastructure in this plan than in Obama's plan.

    Benefits are provided for unemployment and food stamp programs

    Basically, it cuts the crap out of Obama's bill, allows people to keep more of their OWN money, and still tries to help the unemployed and those losing their homes.

    What more do you need in a stimulus package???



    February 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Justin

    The tax cuts for businesses will only work if they are required to hire and keep workers. A blanket corporate tax cut will just line the pockets of the executives unless this is a requirement. If the company can still operate by making the remaining workers do the jobs of the 7,000 laid off ones, the tax breaks would just be a company windfall that would not "trickle down"

    February 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Erik

    What a pathetic joke!!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. JWCB - Calif

    More tax cut for the rich I'm sure... Didn't we give enough to those not in need during the last eight years. I'm with Matt, show me a breakdown of the tax breaks

    February 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Chip

    Funny how all the people on here decrying tax cuts voted for a candidate that promised tax cuts for 95% of Americans.


    February 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Morgan

    Not to go all Pelosi, but I thought the American people heard ideas during the election season and voted for Democratic ideas and leadership. So as much as I think Republicans have some good ideas that should be included we the people didn't vote in majority of their ideas. It just seems like they lost and want more than we voted for. Just sayin...

    February 2, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. LIP

    While it's true that jobs are what people need, you will find that all the jobs created by FDR (deprression) and I believe Hoover, didn't last past the money spent for them. They disappeared and guess what...it boiled down to the fact that there were no...you guessed it "rich people" to really create the jobs...just a government that was going broke trying to make them.
    Spending money on infrastructure will only employ all the illegal aliens. Who wants to lay sod and work on highways anyway?
    We are back to reducing taxes on those that make the jobs that actually last. The so called "rich" as the Democrats would have us believe, actually pay 60% of their income to the government, so who are these rich people the Democrats are always speaking of? Maybe its people like Tom Daschle (owes the government $120,000 in unpaid taxes) and that other guy that is now running the Treasury.

    February 2, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. reggie

    the repub are trying to give more tax cuts to the rich thay have not learned anything yet.. thay have destrod our country with tax cuts for the rich.

    February 2, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Lia

    We have a caretaker in my house. I try to do the right thing by paying a good wage and we pay out all the taxes. As an employer, if I didn't have to pay payroll taxes, I can afford to hire another employee part-time, which I would lover to but can not.

    This is good for any employer and does save/create jobs. I'm not saying tax cuts is the only answer, but it is a good step. It would certainly help me hire another person more than shelling out money to pay for some teenager's contraceptives because their parents were too cowardly or lazy to teach them about sex!

    February 2, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Tony in Maine

    Everything is cured by tax cuts for the wealthy – what's wrong with you people.

    And, of course, John King will dutifully report that opinion as though it were fact – I give you the way he conducted the Reich/Kyl interview yesterday.

    The funniest part of this is the southern fried white guys think they're still running the show.

    February 2, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    I read it and will sign it at no cost because i friggin need help myself. That does not mean that expenses for Afghanistan should not be overlooked. It could increase if the right decisions are not made. That I will keep for the next republican presidential candidate in 2012 if democrats misbehave.

    February 2, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. ginny, new york

    I believe that we should let President Obama write the bill and the Congress should then vote on his bill, not the house bill. Only then will the voters truly know what President Obama wants done. AND I will guarantee you that the majority would support his plan and both sides of the isle!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Mike in Houston

    I am amazed at the people railing against the tax cuts. Government wants you to spend more but Obama wants to borrow money (in your name) and spend it for you (where he wants to) rather than ask you to spend more by allowing YOU to keep more of YOUR money.

    Apparently, you trust the government with your money more than you do yourselves.

    No wonder the US is in decline.

    February 2, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. obama-mama

    I won't be getting a tax cut since I will be out of work by Spring since my company is closing.........This is just ridiculous. I saw we form a posse and demand GWB and Cheyney tried for their criminal acts against the US....I'm happy to hear that Iraq is doing much better and coming along but he was so wrapped up with the war nonsense he said the hell with the Americans.........

    February 2, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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