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. Mike in LR

    Wait a minute. Isn't it better to mortgage my grandson and hs future children to the max? Isn't it better to make government the end all, be all for everything? Isn't it better to take money away from me and do whatever with it rather than let me hire a few people when the demand picks back up after citizens have more money to spend? Isn't it better to slowly take away my individual freedoms?

    I surely know that lowering the two lowest tax brackets by 5% each will never help anyone.

    Oh wait, I didn't vote for BO. What's wrong with me?

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

    Back to basics! 🙂

    The First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state, but the wall is a one-directional wall. It keeps the government from running the church, but it makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in the government.

    Thomas Jefferson said, "The reason that Christianity is the best friend of the government is because Christianity is the only religion in the world that deals with the heart."

    James Madison said, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not on the power of government – far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

    George Washington said, "Do not let anyone claim the tribute of American patriotism if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics. We cannot expect national morality to prevail if we exclude religious principle."

    Benjamin Franklin said, "He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of the Christian faith will change the face of the world."

    John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate apart from morality and religion."

    So – it’s high time for us to recapture the faith heritage which is so much a part of the American experience.

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

    All the Republicans crazy. Way to mouch money for tax cuts. My Lord.

    $430 billion dollars on tax cuts.

    $114 billion for infrastructure projects

    It sure be $430 billion dallars on infractructure projects.

    And it would offer little financial relief to renters or people who already own their homes. Who can buy a house right now. They need to be helping people that already have housing. Repubuicans are ready for the RICH!

    February 2, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Maggie in NY

    Dear Mel, Obama won. Good bye.

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

    And we should listen to the Republicans and the corporate media why? Because they did so much to keep us out of this mess? If when they had control of the House, the Senate, and the White House and they did nothing to prevent this mess (or broadcast that this mess was heading straight for us), but rather enabled the whole d@mn mess to take place in the first place (and profit greatly from it, mind you). Keep your eyes and ears open people, don't believe everything you read, or hear, or see on television. Get more than one source for your information, go to the library, read books from both ends of the political spectrum and decide for yourself. Not because some gasbag on the radio tells you to.

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

    No money for ACORN? No money to fund abortions wanted by any woman, anywhere in the world, at U.S. taxpayer expense? How is that stimulus? How is the change?

    Typical Republicans! Only thinking about things that will help the economy!

    February 2, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Forget Party Lines-Think Economy

    Okay people, some of you are operating from a misperception that isn't helping this debate between Dems and Repubs about tax cuts, so let me try and help:

    If tax cuts were being proposed for the wealthy, I would be the first one to say, "No way, Jose!" Unfortunately, the words "tax cut" reminds to many people of when the wealthy did get the cut.

    But tax cuts being proposed by both parties now is for the poor and economically struggling among us. The difference between the Dems and the Repubs on this boils down to the amount. The Repubs feel the poor and unemployed and those dealing with home mortgage problems need more help than the Dems do, that is why they are recommending a larger tax cut.

    In this case, the Repubs are the ones working for the people on this, so we should get on board. Some of you may feel they have an agenda (the 2010 elections), and that may be true, but who cares what the motive is when the act is the right thing to do? You can still vote Dem in 2010, but don't let party bias cause you to bite off your nose to spite your face...and all those hurting around you.

    Be glad the Repubs are protecting us from signing onto a bill that would have had the Dems shoving a lot of nonsense expenses down our throat just cause we put them in office and they think they can now "do what they want."

    This is why the founding fathers said it was good to have two separate groups fighting for control up there. Neither one ever gets to totally be "in control".

    February 2, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Not that I've had very many nice things to say about the Republicans for the last decade, but this plan is a whole lot better than the pork-and-socialism idiocy the Dems are pushing.

    February 2, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. al in memphis

    You would think we have learned by now that tax cuts won't trickle into the economy until later in the year. Putting people to work makes things happen now - materials, service, etc.

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

    $713 BILLION??????? Are these people NUTS???????

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

    Now stiffen your spine Obama and go for a much better plan!

    Ditch the Pelosi – we won and we can put through our whole wish list instead of a genuine stimulus package! 🙁

    February 2, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. NY republican

    Big Al – the money will come from the same place as the Democrats were planning to get theirs. They will both BORROW IT !!! Thus further increasing the deficit.

    February 2, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Larry Houston TX

    More propaganda from the republican party to cover up the fact they are for the super rich only. These people are liars and cheats and me being a hardworking avg american means I am their mortal enemy. This is their mindset and they are afraid if Obama is successful their days in the minority status are going to be long. So many republicans just don't get the fact that their party is despised by the majority of americans.

    February 2, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Robert

    Tax cuts for the rich and smaller government. Is this all the GOP knows and uses no matter what the situation?

    February 2, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. NY republican

    Did we all forget the Democrats "tax credits"? What is that besides a different way of saying the words "tax cut"?

    February 2, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Marc in Kansas City

    To all those complaining the republican tax cuts look at the democrats tax cuts. They have them also, but you don't seem to mind those because they are being suggested by a democrat? By all means lets have a payroll tax holiday when medicare is already running in the red and we have trillions of dollars of IOUs to social security.

    This "stimulus" is a disaster waiting to happen – no matter whose version gets signed by Obama. No plan to pay for it but print more money or hope that foreigners will buy our debt. That is not a plan, that is a travesty with terrible consequences down the road.

    February 2, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Joseph

    "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."


    Article 1 Section 8:

    Section 8 – Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    Clearly since congess has the power to lay and impose taxes, they have the power to set the rate that they are collected. If they lay taxes at a higher than the current rate it is known as an increase in taxes. if however they lay taxes at a lower than current rate it is commonly known as a "tax cut".

    Donna – try ACTUALLY reading the Constitutuion

    February 2, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. karen-Phoenix

    What happened to education?? This is what really bothers me about the GOP!!! Never education(public, free K-12 and community college) and HEALTH CARE!!! I've been a republican all my life(I'm 64) and am totally disgusted with the GOP!!! AND I have written Kyle and McCain and told them soooo. If they keep this up, by 2010 there will be NO MORE GOP!!! The GREEN party is looking pretty good!!

    February 2, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Aaron M.

    ... so, if I am reading this correctly, the GOP's plan does NOT include any funds for the education systems?

    What a joke!

    February 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. I heart Obama

    Didn't they lose on Nov. 4th?

    February 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. JJ12345

    MaryBeth Sand February 2nd, 2009 2:55 pm ET

    This is totally wrong! Only $31B for housing?
    31B is twice the amount that the democrats have proposed? Did you research this at all????

    February 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Jim

    First, for all of you thinking they are printing all of this money, they are not. It will be borrowed in the form of Treasury Bonds.

    Second, for all of that money in tax cuts, I'm currious how much of that will be hoarded and how much will actually be spent.

    February 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Terry

    The bulk of the tax cuts are for the payroll tax....workers not fatcats. It's ok by me.

    February 2, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. HouseDiva

    tax cuts for the wealthy I'm sure....keep it up republicans; stay stuck on stupid.

    how can tax cuts benefit the average WORKING American; when the average working American cant find a JOB?

    how are tax cuts going to stop my house from going to auction block next week?

    February 2, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Blue - Philly

    So, we give MORE money to the banks to handle mortgages? isn't that what the Republicans did with the last stimulus package? Where did that get us? The banks kept all the funds instead of helping homewoners.

    Tax Cuts!!! How do you then pay down the national debt without revenue?

    February 2, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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