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. Mike in Houston

    Yes, the House wants to TAX and SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.

    Republicans, vote against this pork-package. You'll take over again in 2010. Consider it a gift from Nancy.

    February 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Snake eyes

    how does that old saying go, 'I am not a member of an organized political party– I'm a Democrat"..

    nice going guys. being a democrat can be hard sometimes....

    February 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Patriot Guy

    Uh oh. Some Democrats got screwed out of their PORK and they aren't happy. 🙁

    February 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. TCM

    "delay" = we need to add more pork!

    What's the matter? ACORN not happy with their cut?

    February 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. OhioGirl82

    You are selling my children's and my grandchildren's futures. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says this isn't the right answer. Please - please - please - take the time to at least read what you're voting for!!!!!!!

    What is one week for dedicated thought and reading when we're talking about effecting the GDP for decades. Please - please - please - do this right.

    February 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Michigan Male

    The audacity of these people. Actually wanting to read a bill before casting a vote is absurd. How dare they break ranks with the "leadership" and do their jobs. Come on Nancy, beat the drum louder. Lockstep is failing. Reason is rearing it's ugly head!

    February 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Arden

    Mr. President: If the house Dems. are trying to impress anyone by holding this up they aren't. No one knows what is going to happen once this goes through. Delaying the bill is only causing more hardship and americans know if CEO's or government uses any of this other than what its created for, you will lose the next election. By the way, every CEO that took TARP money, all board members envolved with taking TARP money should be fired and all the money they were given or stole should be returned.

    February 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Grant

    Won't work, Pelosi and crew will be out in mid term elections in 2010...The Banks hit it on the nose yesterday when they said they are open for business to lend, but have no customers at the street level! We need to improve consumer confidence, 90% of our population is doing just fine and is not in financial hardship. We are scaring our consumer economic base with all this doom and gloom talk from the politicians and media, and in the meantime China is coming in and buying all of our companies!

    No more speeches Barrack, action...

    February 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Linda iowa

    While reading the bill maybe reconsideration should be given to TARP

    February 12, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Linda iowa

    While reading the bill maybe reconsideration should be given to TARP funds. Instead of putting money in the hands of people who have already shown they are not to be trusted, divide that money among all the households filing taxes. Debts would be paid, banks would have their money. Money would be influxed into the retail market. Sounds simple to me. Remember KISS. This would be fixing the economy from the bottom up which seems to have been forgotten. We are back to the top down. We know that it does not work, but let's keep the rich, rich.

    February 12, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    I've said all along that the GOP's strategy was to eviscerate the bill to prevent it from being effective. They knew they couldn't block it, because that would be political seppuku, but they sure could make certain it didn't work well. They want us suffering and blaming Obama and the Dems for it. It's our punishment for telling them to go eff themselves on November 4, 2008.

    February 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Matthew, Detroit

    Pretty funny. NOW they want to read it. Wow maybe they should have read it the first time through.

    This is a bad bill now and it was a bad bill from the start. I vote no.

    February 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. me

    Alright house Dems... be cool.

    I know you guys are used to being screwed over (even after you took the majority), and the repubs have run a successful PR campaign lying about your involvement in the current republican depression (The last one was created by a Republican and left in FDR's lap), but...

    be cool. Don't screw everything up by being impatient. And from now on: Ignore the repubs. They are not important.

    Why would I believe some clown senator with a ten-word vocabulary from a state that is 45th out of 50 in education? His constituents are uneducated, therefore they would know nothing. He represents them, what does that say?

    February 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Ken

    I believe that it should be made mandatory for each and every Congress member as well as each and every Senator to read ALL bills that are being consider and prior to any vote on the bill!

    How does anyone read a 600+ pages of this bill, and yet our President expects them to vote on it now? What a joke!

    Our elected officials ARE NOT doing their job that we elected them to do!

    February 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. chris from stl.

    C'mon congress, be serious and get it done soon. The market is bleeding because of this uncertainty. If we can't strengthen the market, we can't get the main street moving!

    To Pres Obama – When you talk, please don't talk down the economy. We all know that the economy is in the ditch .. Your negativity is really hurting the confidence of general public as well as corporate America. . What we need from you is the encouragement, and positive comments!

    What's up with your treasury secretary …. he needs to regain the confidence of the market for it to bounce back. No amount of stimulus or bail out would cure the problem unless the market has confidence in your actions. Case in point – depite the agreement on 800 billion rescue package, market is heading down rapidly.

    February 12, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Matthew, Detroit

    250 leading economists took out a full page add in the New York TImes. The add states "No Mr. President all economist do not agree the spending bill needs to be done" They went on to say that they believe it is a big mistake. There Noble Prize winners in the group. Maybe there is a second opinion that is valid and should be looked at.

    February 12, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Jon in CA

    To all the tax-and-spend liberals.... this California conservative would just like to say THANK YOU SUCKAS!!!!

    Does everyone realize a lion-share of the money will be coming to California?? Thanks to the numb-nuts in the California Legislature (controlled by Dems for DECADES) – Cali is now $42 Billion in debt.

    Responsible tax-paying citizens across the country – living in States that properly manage their own affairs will be bailing out California.

    Yo people – you've been PUNKED! You can thank Harry, Nancy, and Obama.

    February 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. AVEE capitalcityVA

    Both sides can agree if, they take out everything that is just pure pork. If it is not creating a job, or benefitting children or the downtrodden, including homeowners, then take it out. It is that simple. Democrats have four years to try to get the pork in. Now is not that time.

    February 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. G Bob

    Wouldnt giving every man woman and child in america a million dollars be much cheaper and much more of a stimulus than the bill congress has put forth?

    February 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. NoLeftTurn

    Got to keep the queen happy or she will have another hissy-fit!!!

    February 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. RJ

    The Dems are imploding.

    You know it's bad when they start fighting amongst themselves.

    At least Maffei had the guts to say he wanted to actually read it and not take Nancy's word for it.

    February 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. JeffGfl

    It's time for bottom-up economics. Trickle-down economics just does not work, it never did. It leads to greed and the mess we are in. Please give the money to the rightful owners, the people of the USA. The people will spend the money and pay off their debts unlike rich business people and politicianS (i.e. Timmy Daschle). The people will stimulate the economy because they will use the money wisely and not sqander it. Not one corporate criminal has gone to jail yet over this meltdown. WHY NOT?? It is getting close to a time for another American revolution. We need to revolt again the government that is ruining our livlihood and our children's future.

    February 12, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Wolf-Woman Palin Charlotte, NC

    Don't worry about the Pubs reading it; Rush will tell them what it says and what they need to do to rebel against it.

    February 12, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. LIP

    Keynesian defined: A plan to stuff a bill down the throats of Americans that will do little to nothing to stimulate the economy.
    Much like the WPA of Roosevelt and the RFC of Hoover, they will create jobs for construction workers, mostly men and probably mostly illegal aliens that will do work with no accountability for quality or work completed on time or anything else required by construction bid contracts. Once all the money is spent or the work is completed, whichever comes first, we will be back where we started, except with an economy that is much worse and little to nothing to show for it.

    February 12, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    How is this bill going to help Americans from dying of homelessness (yes people are dying because they lost their homes because of budget cuts to programs to provide affordable homes to tax paying citizens who don't make enough money to afford to rent an apartment/house)?
    How is this bill going to stop Americans from dying of not being able to afford to see a doctor or to being able to afford health insurance?
    How is this bill going to protect our national security by upgrading and maintaining our our aging and decaying infrastructure?
    How is this bill going to educate our children and provide a safe place for them to go to school in?

    CNN and other MSM, please have someone to ask Republican Majority Leaders in both the House and Senate to answer these questions about them preforming their Constitutional duties as desribed under Article I,Section Eight of the Constitution of the United States of America.

    February 12, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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