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. carlo

    The GOP is the LAST group that should make any statements about transparency. In addition CNN, if you want us to take these tickers seriously, stop putting that picture of Chuck E. Cheese up. Oh, that Steele.

    February 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. James

    Least democrats are trying to be transparent with the 1000+ problems they have to fix thanks to those fiscally conservative transparent government republicans who ran the show the last 8 years. It hasn't even been a month in office and the GOP is trying to just torpedo Obama at every turn.

    February 12, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Al, NY NY

    Now they know what it's like..... I am not surprised by the "non transparency" but Steele and the rest need to get a grip. Bush hid everything he did and when people requested information it was always the same pathetic reason "executive priveledge."

    February 12, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. obama-mama

    The GOP are unbelievable. The played dead for 8 years and all of a sudden they want to come back out of extinction. When GW asked them to jump, they asked how high. They are nothing but a bunch of bullies, fakes and wannabes....

    February 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Virginia Blue Veterans

    GOP = Group of Phoneys

    They will never get this vet's vote!

    February 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Jon in CA

    Another broken promise by Obama!

    During the campaign he said, "No lobbyists, No back-room deals, blah blah blah"

    I guess Obama really WAS spouting "just words".

    February 12, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Jose

    That's the liberal spirit I love! Let's try and belittle any free speech of anyone that disagrees with us! thank you carlo, that's change we can believe in. lol

    February 12, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. jAY

    hay Steel............get a copy from the republicans in house & senate that went through line by line to chop it up......or Specter.

    Idiot crying in the wilderness

    February 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Shar

    The GOP have officially reduced their selves to being Drama Queens

    February 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Laverne

    When the repubs were in charge, they did not know what the word transparency meant. Now they feel left out and out of control they want the dems to play fair. Screw you rethugs! Doesn't feel so good when the shoe is on the other foot, does it? What goes around, comes around!

    February 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Thanks for the laugh!

    February 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Robin

    This bill is a farce. So is President Obama's promise of transparency.

    February 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. bill

    With the secrecy of the Bush white house, . Steele wants to talk about transparency..

    February 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Seattle Sue

    Mr. Steel, you complain of transparency in Obama's administration after just 3 weeks. Heck I'm still waiting to learn who was at Dick Cheney's energy meeting that was held 8 YEARS ago. I have a feeling that meeting had a lot to do with the price of energy going way up. The Bush administration was the most secret/behind closed doors/spin/liars that I have ever witness.

    February 12, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |

    Steele and the GOP are trying to be relevant. Where were you when your GOPers rammed everything down our throats and adamantly refused to tell the American people what was going on the past 8 years? Secret spying, secret energy deals, lobbyists writing bills, Katrina, etc etc? Remember that, Steele?

    February 12, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. marco

    oh man.. how long do we have to keep hearing and reading the same exact NONSENSE... who got us into this mess in the first place? That's right, a combination of greedy old boys club thieves. In my opinion they are ALL THIEVES. I hope the new government is serious about changing politics but we all know it's hard to train old DOGS!

    February 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Steven NY

    The GOP shouldn't even be involved with the bill. They caused this recession and they think they should have a say? Ha ha. They are lucky that they have jobs, for now.

    February 12, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Jean2


    February 12, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. Richard

    Democrats are nothing but parasites. This country will never be OK as long as the parasites exist.

    February 12, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. j

    right. the Republicans are really in a position to slam anyone for transparency. 8 years of the most secretive, constitution-shredding administration in our nation's history, and these this tool has the audacity to throw rocks at the Democrats over transparency? the last few weeks has shown the most verbose and transparent discussion of govt. matters we've had in a decade or more. there could be even more, i agree, but this waste-of-life Steele etc. are making pathetic ploys at political points... still infuriated by their loss.

    February 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Shirley in California

    I really tried to like this guy when he was selected. I even admit he's good looking but he is starting to appear very silly and over zealous. Please Mr. Steele, I know your first name is Michael and Michael's are very successful people but PLEASE give it a break.

    February 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Super D

    Even though Steele is right. It was a total backroom deal, with no transparency whatsoever (Pelosi style). But at least the Dems are digging their own graves on this.

    No Republican should vote for this since they were kept out of the process.

    Here's a hint for the Dems, want some bipartisan support? Ditch that witch Pelosi.

    February 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. 10 yr old Kathy

    It's the same nonsense everyday with these adults tearing down each other....grow up already!

    February 12, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Rick Sutter

    Guess he showed you guys! Way to call em, Mr. Steele.

    February 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. David in Houston

    Do they honestly expect anyone to buy this load? Who are they trying to kid?

    February 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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