February 8th, 2009
11:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Shelby: Republicans should start over on stimulus bill


Watch Sen. Shelby debate the merits of the stimulus bill with New York Sen. Charles Schumer on John King's State of the Union.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama still isn’t happy with the stimulus bill even after hours of negotiating by centrist members of his own party in the Senate.

Asked by CNN’s Chief National Correspondent John King whether the version of the bill currently under consideration in the Senate is better than the House version, Shelby said his preference would be to start from scratch.

“It’s close to the House bill,” Shelby said Sunday on State of the Union. “They tweaked it a little bit but the substance is the same.”

“It’s not anything I could support,” Shelby added. “And I would hope – and I’m afraid we won’t – the Republicans would stay together. We could shelf this bill and start again. That’s what we really need to do.”

Shelby, the Ranking Member on the Senate Banking Committee, has also been critical of other efforts by the federal government to help the struggling economy including legislation that would have provided a bailout to the auto industry.

The Senate reached a tentative agreement Friday evening on a compromise version of the stimulus bill that was largely negotiated by a handful of centrist Republicans whose votes are needed to prevent a filibuster.

The Senate is expected to vote on the revised stimulus bill Tuesday.

soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. HELL NO to tax-dollars-for-wall-street-thieves!

    write to your reps in washington!

    let them know we the people are watching!

    February 8, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. mk

    Dear Mr Shelby:
    If you are willing to give up your wages starting TODAY. Then sure, go ahead and start over on the stimulus. But until you know TRULY know what the average American is dealing with on a day to day basis, just to survive then don't you DARE suggest "starting over".

    February 8, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Sam Jones

    Vote Shelby out for 2010 or 2012. For ideology he would hurt the country? He voted for war and got the country into this mess. He has no opinion and should be grateful he isn't being jailed. I hope this whole bipartisan nonsense is dropped and the Dems just streamroller every bill though. When the economy turns around, and the GoP had nothing to do with it, I really hope that will signal the end of their whole party. As education improves around the nation, and world-views widen, their selfish "me first" and division-oriented "Obama the secret Muslim" party will finally die off and hopefully be replaced by a normal (ie: centrist) opposition.

    February 8, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Louie

    Franken has confessed in advance of a possible indictment that he owes $50,000 in deliquent taxes. Talk about that CNN instead of schilling for Obama and his Marxist cadre.

    February 8, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Lou Workman

    Same old Shelby !! Ever the obstructionist and wanting some publicity!
    Wish Alabama had a recall law.

    February 8, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Tochi

    The actions of these Rrepulican leaders reminds one of those Titanic musicians , who kept playing music while the ship went down. I have listened to debate in the Senate, it is so clear these poloticians love to hear their echo over and over. Nothing new has been added to debate, no credible proposals to make the bill better have come. They can keep rearranging the chairs on Titanic while the ship goes down.

    February 8, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Ben

    If it were up to some of these Congressional Republicans, we wouldn't have a stimulus package at all. All they want is tax cuts - how is that supposed to help people who don't have a job, therefore don't pay taxes? They would love to be in a position where they were able to pay taxes. Also, Shelby and the rest of the new Old Guard keep squawking around about how they opposed the September bailout, citing it failing because of how the CEO execs's squandered the money for bonuses and vacations, yet they viamently oppose Obama's proposed salary cap on executives who recieve tax payer money. The hypocrisy kills me!

    February 8, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Obama/Biden 08 & 12

    you repubs hate compromise. instead of trying to come up with something that will HELP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE you just tear it down. Im sure you rubber stamped everything that loser bush forced on the American people. Did you back the bail out for the fat cats on wall street? probably. Well we have had 13 straight months of job lose, what do you want those people to do? the debt we are in is because of all the money spent on a war that we should not be in. so it is my thought that we have to start somewhere. so why not put the people first and get them back to work?

    February 8, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |

    The Republicans are dragging their feet hoping to bring this nation further down and blame it on the Democrats.

    The Republicans need to remember that 2010 is next year. We got rid of Dole and a few other foot-draggers, we can get rid of even more. Some of the Democrats might do well to remember that too.

    February 8, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. Rorschach

    Shelby apparently hasn't gotten the message: Trickle-down doesn't work, the public knows it now and we want no more of it. That's all the right wing of the GOP knows how to do.

    February 8, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. david lyjordan

    Sorry, Shelby

    Not everything can happen at an Alabama pace.

    February 8, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. fearful for my country

    There's so much stink in this bill that it belongs in the sewer. My neighbor who is an Obama supporter was bragging that every family was going to get 2500.00 from their new president. No wonder these idiots are supporting Obama. They will believe anything!

    February 8, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Bill in Albuquerque

    Obama and DEMS cave on new school construction and education funding, what cowards. Schools are falling down all over the country and education is the future of this country. We all know why repubs were against it, they want no one able to think for themselves, but for the dems to cut billions upon billions for education is inexcusable. I'm tired of Obama already, I think Hillary would have done better.

    February 8, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. chris from STL.

    Be proactive, and let the senators know what you think – FOR or Against the package. It is time for all Americans to stand up and let our collective voices heard.

    Arguing, spewing hate on these forums don't take us any where! Instead, write to your elected representatives ...

    February 8, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Jeff in SF

    Shelby has said he'd be happy to see GM, Ford, & Chrysler go bankrupt, so presumably he doesn't mind seeing unemployment keep climbing, but it's not clear why he objects to the stimulus package. It can't be that he's against spending, since he never objected to the mountain of debt that Cheney/Bush created – – so we have to suspect this is opposition just for the sake of opposition.

    February 8, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. JOE

    The republican party are lost in idealogy. they do not care about this country(usa) and ordinary AMERICAN WHO ARE TRULY STRUGGLE TO MAKE IT

    February 8, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Bill, ca

    McCain knows that if Obama succeeds with this bill that he and many others of repub senators will be history.

    That is there biggest fear. America first? a big BS

    February 8, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Ryan

    Republicans do not deserve a voice anymore.

    Any party who picks a VP candidate riddled with controversy with a magic 8-ball, or uses a fake Plumber as a figurehead, or chooses a party leader after 6 votes begrudgingly who goes on to say "the government has never created a job ever in all of history" (Sorry Mr. Steele but where does the Military come from or the Post Office..??) – They're clearly a pack of bumbling idiots and let's not forget why we're in this crisis in the FIRST place – because they thought spending trillions on a country we had nothing to do with is better than spending money on our own roads and bridges (which require workers to build) – hence the collapse in MN for example...

    I mean, seriously? Why do we let these idiots even leave the house???

    Stop messing with the bill because you're AFRAID it's going to make you look bad. Because if the bill fails, we know who meddled with it you stupid GOP.

    February 8, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. 911willie

    Before we spend all this money, we better get permission from the Chinese. Unless they agree to buy treasuries and finance this "stimulus" , interest rates will spike and we won't even be able to pay the interest on what is now a $10 Trillion debt.

    Remember Jimmy Carter and interest rates of 13% on treasuries? Well that's $1.3 Trillion a year just to pay the interest.

    That's more than the entire federal budget. What would you do then?
    Print more green paper?

    Sounds to me like we better all try to learn to speak Mandarin and buy all the gold and food producing farmland we can.

    Maybe if we give the Chinese a couple of farm states and the Port of LA, they will go easy on us...

    Just print a whole lot of green paper and you'll see infation that will

    February 8, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Senator Shelby is a fraud!

    This is the same man who said "we should not be helping the automaker's in Detroit". This while he has at least four major foreign auto plants in Alabama, and no domestic plants! And absolutely no union plants!

    I am sure his political coffers are full of foreign contributions, and he long ago ceased caring what happens to American industry and American workers.

    Why isn't CNN and other news outlets investigating this man?!

    February 8, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. daniel cabrera

    I firmly believe it would be prudent to start from top in all of this.Talking and talking just do one thing at this point EXTENDED HOUSRSOF VANE APARENT WORK AT THE COST OF THE TAXPAYERS!

    Even a caveman understand that the so called 'bail-out','stimulus', 'rescue-plan', or any other pet-name can be called is just a waste of time.


    That is all to it, check the events !

    And what happens is that Pres Obama and his gang – KNOWING WHAT IS THE TRUTH AND KNOWING THAT THEY ARE NATIONALIZING THE COUNTRY AND THROWING THE NATION TO THE SOCIALISM-MARXIST ARENA, …they do not want to be blame alone after the public DISCOVERS that they had been CHEATED by the present administration,…they do not want to GO DOWN ALONE,…they need to say that also republicans are to be blamed too,…and that is why they are desperately trying to convince atl least some of them.

    Got it now ? Excellent ! ,..see ? and you do not have to be a caveman to understand it .

    One more thing, the economy is not as bad as it is said,...when Reagan became president the situation was heavely even worst, and the answer was basically, TAX CUTS !

    This thing of :- "...the economy is this or that ..., we are going tobe real bad,,,etc" is a desperate move to inflict FEAR into the minds of the ignorant populache ( the ones that do not get informed) and so they will accept ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT IS TRHOW AT THEM AS AN ANSWER,...they just eat it that way blindly !

    Just remember when all this picture of 'bad economy ' started they said the 'BLACK-HOLE -TYPE-COLLAPSE 'WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN IN FEW DAYS! And now we are in 2009 and they still chanting this FEAR-MANTRA ! ? Oh!, give me a brake !,...America, wake -up !, WAKE-UP NOW !

    Think of this and research.

    Daniel Cabrera

    February 8, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Kristen

    He HOPES repubs rally against this? That little slip says it all. The same man who voted for hundreds of billions for Iraq infrastructure is now taking a stand against rebuilding America? The Repubs have chosen to take a "stamd" on every issue and piece of legislation, no matter how commonsense or appropriate, since Obama came to office: Repubs voted to DELAY transition to digital TV after it was revealed how badly Bush messed that up–why would you take a stand on this, Repubs voted against changes to the census bureau after a litany of errors was revealed after the last census–who exactly are they trying to "save" with this stand, most Repubs voted against increased healthcare for children–the only thing this proves is that you don't give a rip about sick children. We're 3 weeks in, and the obstructionist GOP has for some reason chosen to take a hard line against a very popular President. Pathetic

    February 8, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    The ObstructiPubs act like they just heard about this stimulus package last week.

    They have had a huge amount of time to get busy doing whatever they want, join the Dems in working on the current bill, or even write a new one.

    They just want to whine about it and do nothing.

    February 8, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. E Harris

    Has anyone here look at the stimulus package or are you responding to the media's opinion setting views. I have heard so much about what the Republician don't want, but nothing about specific, and I mean specific replacement parts for the stimulus. Some how the population/consumers/Americans and business should both benefit from a stimulus. We need more than jobs to create a recovery. In my opinion we need to educate for long term competition, we need housing/mortgage reform and accountability, infastructure modernization, technology advancement, ecological plans to be implemented not just talked about and attention to the basic needs of those less fortunate: food, clothing, shelter and education. I for one am glad Pres Obama is reaching out more to all Americans for involvementand a view of how the processs works or breaks down . I personnally don't like the way the Republican leaders from my state seem to only represent their party interest and not ALL of the citizens of this state.

    February 8, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Rick

    59% of the people polled favor tax cuts over increased gov't spending. This bill does not reflect the will of the people. As soon as the honeymoon is over and people wake up to the realities of this pile of pork, things will change.

    February 8, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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