February 12th, 2009
02:39 PM ET
13 years ago

Reid Looking for GOP Votes

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/12/art.getty.reid.closeup.jpg caption=" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is looking for additional votes out of an abundance of caution."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that one day after securing an agreement on a giant economic stimulus bill that is expected to pass narrowly with the votes of three moderate Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling other Republican centrists trying to persuade more of them to vote for the measure.

He’s looking for additional votes out of an abundance of caution, an aide explained, after learning that ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy, who returned to Capitol Hill for votes earlier this week, has now gone back to Florida to continue his recovery from brain cancer and won’t be here for a final vote on the stimulus bill in the coming days.

With Kennedy here, the Senate version of the bill passed 61-37 – just one vote more than needed.

Reid is concerned that if a Democratic senator gets sick, or has some other unforeseen obligation, he could have trouble getting the bill passed.

Reid is also concerned because the three GOP moderates who support the bill – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania – suggested they did not want provide the decisive 60th vote for passage. That would likely happen without Kennedy voting.

So far, there’s no indication Reid has won any more GOP votes for the measure. But an aide to one of the GOP moderates, who asked not to be identified, doubted any of the moderates would drop off.

“I can not imagine any of them would back away after all the painstaking negotiations,” the aide said.

Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. RAG

    He will look in vain for GOP votes. They would rather see America fail then a Democratic administration succeed.

    February 12, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Deb

    Reid don't waste your time and energy with the stupid repubs all they know is tax cuts and No.. Someone failed to tell them that tax cuts really doesn't matter when you have NO JOB!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Luigi

    Maybe a couple of Blue Dog Democrats could grow a set and vote their beliefs and not down the party line.

    February 12, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Gort

    I still maintain that those congressmen that vote against it should demonstrate their utlimate ideological dedication and REFUSE any funding for their congresional districts.

    We all hear the self-righteous hue and cry from the conservative posters on these sites that THEY don't want any part of what they term "Porkulus" or "Spendulus". So, my died-in-the-red republican freinds, put your money (literally) where your mouth is: REFUSE any stimulus benefits. Return any moneys sent your way and hound your local representatives just as vocifersouly as you sound off in these comment areas to refuse it as well.

    February 12, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Lincoln Logic

    Mr. Reid, today would be a good day to actually think about the other president being honored: Abe Lincoln. Reflection on his character would actually help you. He was a poor man who couldn't afford a proper education (one of the things creating such a controversy in this stimulus bill).

    Yet Lincoln didn't ask the government to fix his personal problem or his poverty; nor should we. He made an extra effort to remove himself from his problems by educating himself (by candlelight no less...and instead of playing video games or other fun stuff boys in our day and age think they have to have to exist). He worked hard at menial jobs and he didn't go around whining about other people stopping him from getting "his share" like so many posters seem to be doing when they think their goodie will be cut out of the stimulus bill.

    Oh, and one more thing, Lincoln was a republican. He knew all about being conservative....and how that is the way to truly get ahead.

    February 12, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Conrad

    Well Harry that is what you get when you try to ram this crud down everyone's throat. You and Pelosi did a horrible job with this bill and now should have to pay the piper.

    February 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Dittohead

    harry you don't need the GOP. just vote it through. you own the package and will suffer the political concequences from this big piece of pork.

    February 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Poor baby. Maybe he should have thought of this before he allowed the House under Queen Nancy to write such a crappy bill.

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

    Too bad Al Franken hasn't been seated yet. OH WAIT! He didn't win and is trying to steal the election!

    February 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Louis

    WHAT A RIPOFF–The stimulus will cost $228,000 for every job created. The government created this economic mess–why should we trust them to fix it?

    February 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. obama all the way

    why is this being delayed, AMERICA NEEDS HELP NOW,stop with all this foolishness.

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

    It's interersting to watch as the GOP, without proposing ANY workable alternate solutions, digs in its feet and refuses to participate in the plan.

    Good for them. They should remember, however, that even their OWN PRESIDENT locked them out of the feedback cycle while Obama, who doesn't need ONE of their votes, has tried every way possible too include them.

    I guess the GOP is too stupid to realize there is a huge difference between "feedback" and "we'll do everything you suggest, regardless of how ridiculous."

    Glad they're out of power and working my butt off to make sure I have plenty to donate when the time comes to KEEP them out of power.

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

    Reid Give it up Republicans are the Do nothing Party, The whiney cry Baby Party. They dont care about America. They have a Mission to See the Democrats And President Obama Fail, And they could care less if it hurts this country or the People.

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

    I dislike this man and I really dislike Pelosi, they along with president will lead the economy down the wrong path. They are greedy!!

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

    all republicans should vanish from this earth soon and this world and country be a better place. i hope they all burn in hell sooner than later. these people are the most dangerous terrorists.

    February 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Al, NY NY

    I bet a lot of Democratic senators are gonna have: flat tires/food poisoning/imaginary family emergencies that day courtesy of the push-polling, robo-calling, false information GOP

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

    He might need some Republican votes, because Democrats may not even vote for him next time.

    Now that the Demos are back in power, they really need to get some statesmen (and stateswomem) in leadership positions instead of Reid and Pelosi. These buffoons won their positions by default when the Demos had no voice. They need to make some responsible choices now and choose some competent leaders to go along with the statesman they got elected to the executive wing.

    There are currently many Democrats to pick from now. Reid needs to step down or be helped down.

    February 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. jAY

    let the OBSTRUCTIONIST fillibuster....

    February 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Seriously

    That is pretty sad that Repubs will not support a bill to help this country. They are feeling great right now anyways... financially speaking...

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

    @Louis February 12th, 2009 3:05 pm ET

    > WHAT A RIPOFF–The stimulus will cost $228,000 for every
    > job created. The government created this economic
    > mess–why should we trust them to fix it?

    OMG. Another brain dead GOP talking point. When money is spent on infrastructure like a bridge, you're not just spending the money for the job that's created. You're also spending money on the thing being built - a bridge in this example. That piece of infrastructure is a useful item that lasts for decades.
    Please stop repeating the garbage that you hear and THINK a little.

    February 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Tom Shumaker

    Gort has it 100% right! I'm with him - but not holding my breath. Tom.

    February 12, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Richard

    If only you democrats could read. 56% of Americans hate this bill. Do the will of the people for once.

    February 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Viv, Utah

    I honestly cannot believe anyone has read this bill. Not by these comments anyway.

    February 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. geewhiz

    Obama has failed so far. He was supposed to be the guy to work across party lines. All he's done so far is cause the stock market to crash even further because they lack confidence in his plan. Nice going to everyone that voted for a guy with no experience running ANYTHING!

    February 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. KLS

    Thank you for reaching out to the GOP. Washington needs more politicans who are willing to reach across the aisle and to put aside their party ideology.
    I agree with Gort - any politican who voted against this stimulus package should not receive one penny of my taxpayer money!!!!!!

    February 12, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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