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. bob in LA

    As a private citizen, I could read through the provisions and say yes or no to the good and bad.
    With staffs as large as Congress has, there is no reason objections should have taken more then 3 days to be made public.
    If this man has objections, if Republicans have objections, what have they been doing for the last 3 weeks?
    Democrats- get the junk out of this bill and represent us!
    Yuo are all a joke!

    February 8, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. southerncousin

    Commucrats reading and responding to this page, we repubs love your stupid bill and the idiotic way you react to constructive input, please keep it up so we can get rid of this bunch of clowns that are currently running the country. Keep overreaching to input the dope smoking 60's ideas. Did you notice that is the number 1 request that Hussein has received? Legalize marijuana. Kinda shows where all the commucrats are coming from. Burned out 60's folks.

    February 8, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Rick

    I'm writing to my rep about the shameful House Dem retreat in Williamsburg and the use of our tax dollars so Obama could fly his personal 747 to the event to be head cheerleader. What a bunch of hypocrits. Change we can believe in?????

    February 8, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Peter (CA)

    Jeff in SF–
    Right on!

    It's all they have left.

    Hey "fearful"–that story, in one form or another, has been on these boards since before the election.
    Why don't you tell your pointy-headed masters to give you guys some new stuff to lie about?

    February 8, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Dan

    Vote them all out of office...this "stimulus" bill is not stimulus. Does something need to be done to get this economy going...yes. Is growing government jobs – 36K per year the solution? Really?

    February 8, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    Between Congress, Geithner, the states, committees and administration officials this stimulus is becoming a daily soap opera with different players adding to the drama but nothing getting accomplished. All we lack is someone staring into the camera before cutting to commercial. It s very quickly becoming a non-happening joke!!!

    February 8, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. E Harris

    To Ryan, I am a Democrat and I believe WE ALL deserve a voice, Republicians, Democrats and Independents it's just that when one decision has to be made, it can not please everyone. There can be BALANCE. A nation as diverse as ours has to come to terms with what diversity means or close the border doors to new comers. Republicians and Democrats need some DIVERSITY AWARENESS EDUCATION.

    February 8, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Zion

    We are the American people whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or Independents, and the sort of change that Obama spoke of starts with us. LETS start calling and writing. NOW.

    February 8, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Robert from ALabama

    Democratic party policies are the only policies that have paid down a deficit and created a surplus, and they did it in eight years. Doesn't this prove democratic policies superior? Shouldn't we have faith that the democrats, although increasing the deficit in the short-term, will be able to ensure the paying down of the debt in the long-term.

    It seems that the democrats care more about our children than republicans. What have the republican policies done for the future of all Americans?

    If we choose to call democrats socialist, we must call the republicans anarchist.

    February 8, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. chris from STL.

    This guy is living in his own world …. come out of your bubble, take out your shades and look around, Mr. Shelby.

    It is not the time to fight over old and failed 'ideology' …. These are different times, you got to be flexible and do what is right to save the economy.

    February 8, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Jason from Syracuse, NY

    @ Louie,

    And who made you the expert on Marxism? Im sick of hearing people like you spout off about communism, socialism and marxism. Its people like you, who have no idea about how to label a government and are obviously stuck in a bygone age, that give people with real opinions a bad name. Give up on this old, beatup and obviously wasteful ideology and do a little more research.

    February 8, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. REG in AZ

    Politics, politics and more politics. As a long-term registered Republican I became disillusioned by their focus to use an ultra-conservative disguise for a self-serving concentration on benefiting Special Interests and a select few, who supported and controlled their direction while they gave the majority nothing more than a lot of rhetoric. Reaganomics may have started the trend but Bush-Cheney took it to its drastically failing extreme and their gross and arrogant sociopathic dishonesty was just too much for me. My normal leaning would best be described as a moderate conservative, however, due to the drastic neglect and current desperate need (infrastructure, economy, Global Warming, energy policy, medical costs, education, real national security, foreign policy, entitlements, on and on) today I favor a moderate liberal position with the hope of reestablishing a much needed balance. While not ever a Democrat, yet even today the Republicans refuse to admit their guilt in strongly and stubbornly supporting all Bush-Cheney did (they couldn’t have done it alone) and they just continue to bull-headedly pursue the same private agenda which totally alienates me. In a recent interview the RNC Chairperson, Mr. Steele, was asked how the Republican Party expected to attract the minorities who they lost through neglect and he responded by basically saying, in a cocksure manner, they would attract them by changing their rhetoric. Now that is simply consistent with all they do and their overall problem, they simply arrogantly think they can easily manipulate public opinion (as in 2000 and 2004) and then just continue to do whatever they want. They offer us these puppet performers (Bush, Palin, McCain, Kyl, Thompson, ,,), whose deepest independent thought is wondering how they look on camera, with others pulling their strings as they broadcast their scripted subterfuge. Hiding behind the conservative term and calling the opposition liberal doesn’t alter that they insultingly just offer us BS as they constantly pursue their own self-serving agenda directed to serve the interests of a select few. A strong third party would look awfully good right now (if ever we could have real financial reform to allow it).

    February 8, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Objective thinking

    mk: He is fighting to protect YOUR taxdollars, while others fight to spend it. He is on your side, unlike so many other Republicans.

    February 8, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Death of America by Obama

    obama is such a disgrace. Next he'll be calling out Acorn to help him again.
    America, are you so blind?

    February 8, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. Meka

    It's ironic that all but 3 Republican's, voted against this bill.




    February 8, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Meka


    February 8, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. swest

    When the self-serving Republicans are upset about the stimulus bill we know that President Obama is doing something right for the country.

    February 8, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Confused

    The cuts made to the stimulus bill was mainly on Education. That's why we are in the mess we are in; we've been taking money from education and now what we have is a bunch of young people undeducated, a bunch of students of poor districts attending schools buildings that are a mess, without good books, without the necesarry materials and resources. Keep up the good work Republicans: With the No Child Left Behind (a creation of your president) now we are living ALL KIDS WAY BEHIND.

    February 8, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Robin

    What do all of you think this bill is going to do? What do you like about it? What do you think it will do to help the economy?

    February 8, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. jj

    If you give every person with a job a $1000 tax cut what you will have in two years is a lot of people with HD TV's and a few foreigners with with more coin in their pocket.
    No bridges. No highways. No solar power. No wind power. No schools.
    And, how do you give a tax cut to someone without a job? A handout? How republican is that?
    Taxcuts to stimulate an economy are a joke! Remember the GOP-Bush mini-stim? Did nothing. In fact the situation continued to worsen.
    With every election the GOP just becomes more pedantically stupid.

    February 8, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Jack in DC

    Bill in Albuquerque-

    I think your common sense is very limited. If the Dems don't compromise on something, the whole bill could be shelved and we would all be in real trouble then. The republican senators that worked with the democrats had to get something in exchange for their vote and that's how things work in the real word. Obviously, you've never been in a position to negotiate anything except what to wear everyday.

    As for Shelby, I stopped listening to this fool a long time ago. The only thing he knows about the economy is tax cuts. I don't even know why cable news keep asking him to give his two cents.......he comes from the most irrelevant state in the country.

    February 8, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. proudliberal-independent

    shelby and the rest of his garbage haulers need to drop off a very tall cliff.

    February 8, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. ran

    The only thing shelby and the republicans want is to give tax cuts to the rich. That plan has never worked since reagen, another of our worst presidents, first introduced it. This why we needed to get to 60 Democrats in the senate to get what needs to be done for the people because the republicans will continue to be obstructionist.

    February 8, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Joyce

    When I watch the news about bipartisanship, I understand it is a two way street, and what we have is a president who believes in the process, and a republican party that is determined to abuse his attempts by being totally obstructionist, and then upon its failure, blame the one who attempted to be bipartisan, rather then accepting the blame for refusing to engage.

    This may work with those naive enough to follow the extremely narrow mantra of the current Republican party, it won't work with us who are educated enough to engage in critical thought, rather then allow others to do our thinking for us.

    I have recently watched sound bites from McConnell, Shelby, Steele and others, and quite frankly I feel ill after listening to them. Are they really the best their constituents can find – they distort and mistate facts constantly and consistently.

    Until the Republicans cease to be garbage in – garbage out, no one except the ignorant and the stupid will be paying any attention to them......

    February 8, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. This is ridiculous

    I believe the republicans have no idea what the average person is going through right now. There are now jobs! No company wants to hire, no one wants to spend any money so retail does not do well. Just because you have a token as your leader does not mean you will be getting minority votes in the next election, remember, minorities vote for dems because the majority are democrats. It has nothing to do with race, wake up!

    February 8, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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