February 12th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

House delays stimulus vote

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Democratic leaders were forced to put off until Friday a vote on the Presidents economic stimulus bill, after many rank and file Democrats unhappy with some of the spending cuts, demanded time to read the measure. As of 1:00 pm Thursday the text of legislation spelling out the details of the House-Senate compromise had not been completed. Despite the delay, multiple sources, said the bill was not in jeopardy.

The decision to put off the House vote was made following a Thursday morning closed door House Democratic meeting, the second meeting in less than 24 hours to discuss the $789 billion bill.

Many lawmakers left Thursday’s meeting expressing resignation that there is not much they can do to change the spending measure, which they feel does not go far enough to solve the current economic troubles.

Members of two liberal factions, the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus, told their Democratic leaders that they are not pleased with the compromise spending bill and that they need sufficient time to read the voluminous legislation before voting on it.

"My fear is that it will be enough to slow but not stop our descent into a real depression," said Rep Jerry Nadler (D-New York), a member of the Progressive Caucus. Nadler would not say whether he’d support the measure. "Considering the Senate is ruled by the filibuster - we did about the best we could. It will save 3.5 million jobs.”

Another member of the Progressive Caucus, who requested anonymity, said the meeting was a "venting session," adding with a wry smile, "In my career, I've never seen so much money and so many angry people."

Other Democrats also have concerns.

Freshman congressman Dan Maffei of New York told CNN that he learned a lesson from watching Congress approve a bailout for Wall Street that was not as advertised.

"One of the reasons I was elected, and I am new member, is to make sure we do look at the legislation, we know what’s in it," Maffei said.

"I want to know, are the resources actually going to be used for what we say we want them to use. Are they actually going create jobs? I think they will. But I want to make sure and I want make sure these jobs are coming to my district."

Rep Charlie Rangel (D-New York), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, had the job of defending the bill to his fellow lawmakers.

Calling the meeting "very good," Rangel applauded his role as the House's chief tax writer by saying, "The [spending] portion is still in motion but the tax provisions were very well received

Filed under: Congress • stimulus plan
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Obama 2.0

    Bottom line, Pooky Po or get off the pot!

    February 12, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. One and done Barry

    250 leading economists took out a full page add in the New York TImes. The add states "No Mr. President all economists do not agree the spending bill needs to be done"

    They went on to say that they believe it is a big mistake. There are Noble Prize winners in the group. Maybe there is a second opinion that is valid and should be looked at.

    Matthew, those people are all "dumb" and "haters" and "racists", just ask the flock of Obama nitwit sycophants who post al over the place and think everything this empty, lying vessel; says is gospel.

    These sheep like paying for frisbee parks, Congresional furniture and you know what sheep, INSTEAD of hybrid cars for these losers, HOW ABOUT NO CARS for these losers?

    I WANT a bill. but pork free, but the "no earmarks" liar in chief wants the pork and you fools that worship him fall for it.

    No brain, no pain.


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

    This bill will not stimulate anything but the coffers of the companies that contribute the most to the liberals campaigns. To stimulate the economy does take spending, but NOT government spending. It takes spending from the people to stimulate it. It would be more stimulating to give each of the 306 million legal US citizens $2700. People would either spend it which stimulates the companies or they would save it, which with more deposits on hand in the banking industry would ease up the debt to deposit ratio that is preventing banks from freeing up more credit. This spending bill will only lead to a blimp in the recession, possibly lead it deeper, and eventually will lead to record inflation and interest rates of the late 70's and early 80's. So you can buy a house at 12% for a 30 year mortgage. Thanks congress.

    February 12, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Angie in Pa

    The Republicans have to check with their almighty Rush Limbaugh First. he has to ok it!

    February 12, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    @ One and Done Barry

    More economists say otherwise. Obama quite obviusly listened to both sides. When faced with diametrically opposed viewpoints fro madvisers and the public, he still has to choose one. Just because he didn't choose yours, does not mean he did not consider it. Grow up.

    February 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Capital Insider

    Read the articles in the Financial Times and the Economists. They point out that a bulk of the stimulus bill is Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Energy, which are either (1) not a job creating expenditure or (2) long term expenditures that won't create jobs for 2 – 3 years.

    This bill will not put a bandaid on our problems right now. That is the scary thing, and some of these Democratic Representatives are dragging their feet because their spending has been removed? I think we need to start NAMING and SHAMING these Democrats who are being Obstructionists. Forget the Republicans, leave it to our own good old party to screw things up...

    February 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Veridico

    Speaking of ACORN, why was it not taken out of this stimulus package? How does giving money to ACORN improve jobs situation?
    Only the Dems, read Pelosi, Reid and Obama can be so blatant in their abuse of power.
    I'm proud to call myself and Independent. Long live Lou Dobbs, the only TV talk show host who is impartial and makes sense all the time, in my humble opinion.

    February 12, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. mike in vancouver

    Hey Mark,

    Your idea actually sounds pretty logical. Either situation "stimulates" some economic platform. Are you planning on running locally for any kind of office? I'm in Canada but would happy to support a "Main Streeter".


    February 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Rick

    When I read the headline of this article I thought maybe some democrats were coming to their senses and figuring out that they were proposing too much spending. Then it turns out that they are complaining that we aren't spending enough. The democrats who support this are complete lunatics. This is insanity.

    February 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. an American

    It certainly is a disappointing package. Better than nothing, but research demonstrates that the arts generate jobs and purchasing FAR beyond their cost.

    Then there's the ATM – cut, but not eliminated.

    Why not save a bundle in one minute by requiring the federal government to negotiate the best price with drug companies for Medicare recipients? That would save HUGE sums, and our elderly would not have to go Canada or choose between drugs and food.

    This American foolishly paid off three mortgages in my lifetime, down to the last penny. There's nothing at all for responsible adults here.

    My CitiBank card just went from 9.99% to 16.99%. Why? I was told it was a "business decision." Never late, never skipped a payment. And Citi, who just got TARP funds, did it because they did it.

    I never felt less protected by my government than I do now.

    February 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Rick Sutter

    There go those democrats being obstructionists again!

    February 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. NY republican

    Hey look, the same thing the "obstructionist" Republicans were denied for the last vote.

    February 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Debby

    Leave to the Dems. to want more pork.

    February 12, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    Angie in Pa February 12th, 2009 3:18 pm ET
    The Republicans have to check with their almighty Rush Limbaugh First. he has to ok it!
    Are you even reading the article? House some of that pork that was pulled by the Senate!! Pulled pork!! Get it? HA HA!!!

    February 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Gregg

    Yep this looks like good stuff.....Are you kidding me!!!!!
    600 millon to buy them cars.....Buy the American people that lost their cars something to drive.....!!!

    - $100 million for the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program
    - $200 million to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program
    - $300 million for "Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs"
    - $900 million for the IRS for the "Limitation on Administrative Expenses"
    - $1 million for the Railroad Retirement Board for administrative costs
    - $2 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Act
    - $50 million for Health and Human Services to carry out injury prevention programs
    - $1.1 billion for studies on the effectiveness of different medical treatments - $200 million to upgrade labs and facilities for the Department of Agriculture "to improve workplace safety and mission-area efficiencies"
    - $10 million for urban canal inspection
    - $16 billion to pay for student financial aid
    - $1 billion to pay for the U.S. Census
    - $600 million to pay for a fuel-efficient federal auto fleet
    - $650 million for the Digital Converter Box Program to help the constantly delayed transition from analog television
    - $485 million to the Forest Service for "hazardous fuels reduction and hazard mitigation activities in areas at high risk of catastrophic wildfire"
    - Up to $1 billion for "summer activities" for youths as old as 24
    - $40 million for the occupational research agenda
    - $3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control wellness programs and vaccinations
    - $410 million for Indian health facilities
    - $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstrations

    February 12, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. julie

    With all the problems with everything, why aren't the DC lawmakers get by without paying their taxes? I work for the state of Missouri, if we do not pay our state taxes we do not keep our jobs.

    Why isn't the politicians expected to do the same.

    February 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Salina, Washington, DC

    I think the stimulus has been butchered so much now, there isn't much left that will stimulate the economy. The repubs have taken away money from eduction and job creation. I think Obama should throw out what they've approved, tell Americans the truth about why it won't work and start over. They've made it so if it fails Obama will be responsible. They don't want him to succeed, if he does, that means they (republicants) fail. They are have taken out all the effective job stimulating programs and replaced them with tax cuts for the rich (AGAIN). I don't think Obama should approve it.

    February 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Laura, Boston

    That would be a good thing to READ a bill before voting upon it don't you think?

    No wonder the Congress get such low approval ratings. Even a child would tell you you don't put a model together without reading the instructions.


    February 12, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Still Waiting for the Politics of Hope

    Imagine that–the representatives of the people actually want time to READ a bill before they vote on it! Will wonders never cease?

    February 12, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. jim

    The republicans are not letting anything get done, I hope people don't forget this in 2010 how they were only in the way of progress. They have no shame.

    February 12, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. j-stl

    Why are Democrats so afraid to put off a vote until Sunday or Monday morning? I can only conclude that they KNOW that it isn't good for America and know it wouldn't survive the light of day.

    February 12, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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