February 12th, 2009
02:50 PM ET
14 years ago

GOP slams Democrats on lack of transparency

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republicans charged Thursday that the Democratic pledge of bringing transparency to the federal government was an empty promise.

The GOP’s complaint centers on the $789 billion stimulus package and what is actually in the plan which President Obama says will be a shot in the arm to the ailing economy. House Democrats agreed on Tuesday to language that “require the conferees to not record their approval of the final conference agreement unless the text of the agreement has been available at least 48 hours.”

A deal on the stimulus bill was struck Wednesday between the Democratic leadership, centrist Republicans and the Obama administration. Congressional conferees are lawmakers responsible for taking different versions of House and Senate bills and molding them into one measure that can be voted on by both chambers. As of Thursday afternoon, House Republican leadership aide Michael Steel told CNN they still had not seen the full bill. The House is expected to vote Friday on the measure.

“Why would Democratic Leaders want to pass a nearly 800-page bill without giving anyone – including most of their own Members – a chance to read it?” Steel wrote Thursday in a widely distributed e-mail to the media. “Why would they want to spend over a trillion dollars with no oversight or review? Why would they contradict their own votes, recorded in the Congressional Record? What are they hiding from the American people?”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman Nadeam Elshami assured CNN the bill will be posted once it is ready, but added it is critical that the legislation be approved as soon as possible.

“We are committed to passing this legislation that will create or save over 3.5 million jobs,” Elshami said. “The bill will be posted online for review as soon as the legislative drafting is complete in keeping with our commitment to transparency. At a time when we’re losing 20,000 jobs a day, we have no time for delay in sending this jobs bill to President Obama.”

Filed under: Democrats • GOP • Michael Steele
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Marge

    You know someone should put a sock in this guys mouth. Set him down and tell him about the horrors of the last eight years, that have put this country in it's tailspin. He is stupid ignorant and the perfect person to lead republicans. HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT IN THE WORLD HE IS TALKING ABOUT.

    And by the way....the secrecy of the bush administration rivals the sum total of all presidencies combined......

    February 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. honeychild

    Mr. Steele....what everrrrrrrr!!!

    February 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |

    And sir, how about the last 8 years, I think this is much of an improvement to what we had.

    February 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. djb

    Maybe Steele thinks there are WMD in the package.

    February 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. BOJ Jr From Raleigh

    Alleged misuse of campaign funds
    In 2009, it became known that Steele's former finance chairman, Alan B. Fabian, had reported to federal prosecutors that Steele used his 2006 Senate campaign fund to pay a by-then-defunct company, Brown Sugar Unlimited run by his sister, for "catering/web services" that were allegedly never performed. Fabian provided the information to federal prosecutors in 2008 during his plea negotiations on unrelated fraud charges (for which he was sentenced to 9 years in prison).[40] On February 7, 2009, Steele, through a spokesman, stated that the payments to his sister "were fully disclosed and are completely proper and in full compliance with all state and federal laws."

    February 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. csf


    February 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |

    Republicans would know what's in the final bill, IF THEY HAD CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE (OTHER THAN 3) IN THE PROCESS OF WORKING ON THIS BILL.

    February 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Justin, ny

    they plan on posting the bill online – whats the problem???

    February 12, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Jenny

    it looks like lots of supporters of Obama think its ok for Obama to ram secretive spending bills down the American taxpayers throats just because Bush did it.

    Remember – we voted for Obama for change – to show the world that we don't like what Bush did as president.

    How about instead of sticking up for everything Democrats did, let's stop House and Senate Democrats from draggging Obama down with them. Pelosi and Reid are part of the same old politics – to agree with the bill because its a Democratic bill is just going to hurt Obama.

    Even Obama wanted House Dems to vote against Pelosi but Pelosi and Reid are using this opportunity to grab more power.

    February 12, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Well how do you Republicans like dealing with it now that the shoe is on the other foot! What comes around goes around, so get used to it! Because for the next 4 years you'll get nothing and like it! Turn about is fair play in my book!

    February 12, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Lesley

    They are reading the bill. That is what is causing the delay in the vote. What is this guy talking about?

    February 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Jeff

    The GOP has gone from the party that blindly followed W-rong for the past 8 years to the party that will blindly fight everything for the next 8.

    They are absolutely party before country, as proven when they applied the Rovian Rule of Opposites to come up with their campaign slogan "Country First."

    And the positive results they have to take credit for are . . ?

    Michael Steel has been in his post for less than a month and he has already lost all credibility. He's the noisy party horn that nobody wants to listen to after its first blow.

    February 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. big papa

    We shouldn't be responding to CONSERVATIVE CONFEDERATE Obama-haters...

    ...we should be measuring them...

    February 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Michael (Nashville, TN)

    This is a joke, right? Steele and the GOP talking about transparency is ridiculous. Secret courts, secret energy meetings, renditions, and invocations of executive privilege by anyone remotely connected to the Bush White House – now the Republicans want transparency? What a bunch of hypocrites!

    February 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Chauncey Grizzly

    GOP, Democrats, other maturity-callenged Americans, lend me your eyes:

    Take a deep breat. Do all you can to improve your own life. Quick nit-picking and worrying abhout everyone else.

    Personal accountablity. If we ALL had personal accountability, including our elected officials, maybe we wouldn't blame everything on someone else.

    Dictate your own life, stay informed, but not at the cost of losing your cool. You further nothing but your foe's agenda when you show your bias so strongly. Especially after three weeks in office. Come on!

    February 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Jeremiah L

    Wow...Republicans criticizing the Democrats on a lack of transparency in government...it's like the pot calling the kettle, well, a pot.

    Sometimes I wonder if the Republicans actually listen to the things they say or just pick whatever position is opposite of what the dems are doing and whine and moan.

    February 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. adam

    OMG, the irony here is so good it HAS to be fattening. The GOP complaining about a lack of transparency...

    February 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    The only thing most Republicans should "see" is the inside of a jail cell. Where's the trillion dollars that went to Iraq? Go find that.

    February 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Chris from NY

    He must have been drinking a gin kool aid. Otherwise Mr. Steel will fall before he even begins his campaign rails.

    February 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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