February 13th, 2009
07:20 PM ET
13 years ago

Stimulus vote to be kept open for Ohio senator's return

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/13/art.brown.gi.jpg caption="Brown is flying back from Ohio for tonight’s vote."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate will start its vote on whether to approve the economic stimulus bill at 5:30 pm, but the vote will kept open until 10:30 pm because Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown is home in Ohio attending his mother’s wake, and is not expected to return to the Capitol until late this evening.

Democrats need 60 votes to pass the bill, and Brown’s vote is expected to be the 60th.

Brown will be flown back to Washington on a government plane. The plane is provided by the White House, Brown’s office said, because the vote is “official business” and there are not commercial flights available that would allow him cast his vote and then return to Ohio for his mother’s funeral Saturday morning. He will fly back to Ohio immediately after he votes.

The vote that will start at 5:30 pm is technically a procedural vote to allow stimulus spending to exceed budget rules. But by unanimous consent, senators agreed to have the vote also count as the final passage of the bill, so there will not be a final roll call vote on the bill itself.

UPDATE: CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry reports that a White House official refused to provide a cost estimate for the military plane, but acknowledged “it will be a higher cost than if he were flying commercial.”

The official said it is a “small government plane” and the White House decided it was necessary because of the lack of commercial flights this evening, and the difficulty of getting Brown back to Ohio in time for an early burial Saturday morning.

“Taking immediate action to save or create 3.5 million jobs and get America’s economy moving again is a top priority for Ohio and the nation,” said the White House official. “Given that no commercial flights were available that would allow Senator Brown to make the vote and to attend services memorializing his mother, the administration provided government transportation to ensure that he could do so.”

Filed under: stimulus plan
soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Just J

    I am so tired more upset with CNN, Politico and other news media, because they say, Obama and not President Obama.


    PRESIDENT BUSH, before any comment was written.




    February 13, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. william sherman

    sad to think that our political leaders are handcuffing the tax payers to the tune of almost 800 billion dollars without having read the stimulus bill. how is the public supposed to have faith in the political system? what a circus. just imagine how the rest of the world is viewing this process. bipartisan- you must be kidding! john Sam Adams would turn in his grave if he was aware of what was going on.
    william sherman

    February 13, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    @ naqib

    They've had plenty of time to read it you nay-saying moron. The only parts they needed to read over teh past couple of days are the changes...most of it has remained substantially the same. It's just talking-point noise to say they haven't had an opportunity to read it.

    And Jon in CA, nothing has been more significant to the drop in the DOW than the damage the GOP has done to the confidence the American public has in this bill, the economy and OUR GOVERNMENT over teh past 8 years and as a result of the partisan shenanigans in which they've engaged sinec 1/22/09.

    February 13, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Twelve Cents on the Dollar

    I'm not an economist, BUT seriously is this good for America? The only urgency as far as I can tell is to have the bill on Obama's desk by President's Day so he can sign it with a symbolic gesture.

    Enough of that crap. Americans need to know what their grandchildren are being signed up to pay for. The market tanks every time our President takes the lecturn...all the negativity about how bad things are...advertising campaigns to support the bill, bill "rallies", and now sending Air Force whatever to bring back a Senator to vote. Enough of the grandstanding...just try a unique honest approach and let America know what is in it. We can decide pretty well what makes sense to the working man and woman. I don't think this bill does.

    Wonder how long it will be until he tells us everything is just fine AFTER this bill gets shoved down our throats.

    February 13, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Nationalize Everything

    Re: Jon in CA

    Oh, by all means, let's kowtow to the stock market. The mighty Wall Street. The Champions of the Universe who got the economy into this situation. Yes, let's placate the Ayn Rand readers so they don't pitch a fit.

    February 13, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. gail

    Isn't it a shame that the majority of Republicans are hoping for America to fail so that they can win more seats. I will remember this in November of 2010. Just as the well being of this country got no vote from Republicans , they will get the same from me. I am ashamed of all those that have taken this path especially my two senators, Graham and Demint. Also my governor, Sanford of SC. I think that they all are living off of our tax dollars and should be the ones looking for a job when they are up for reelection. I have learned everything I need to know about the G"NO" P. They will in perpetuity never get a vote from me.

    February 13, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    And another couple things for all you GOP idiots to answer:

    1. First, since the only things that they needed to read over teh past couple days were changes, didn't your GOP masters already knit-pick the bill to shreds and create a list of all the little things they didn't like? Hmmm? Presumably they agreed with the rest, so they only needed to worry about the things they cited as a problem.

    2. Second, “Regardless of party, we all cast our votes with one hand and crossed our fingers with the other" is taken out of context. He's referring to everyone's hope that it works. Not a single person in this country is sure it will work, but the best advice and opinions from the most brilliant experts says this is our best shot. And before you go saying we need to be 100% sure before oing anything, stuff that...nothing in this world is for certain.

    February 13, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Jeff In Ohio

    Make us proud Sherrod.

    February 13, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. Mario from Belgium

    didn't the house alter the bill in workgroups? They know the contens don't they? It's the same as the previous one. They should only read the changes. Why should every senator read it? They should follow the party line. If they didn't wanted to change it (the republicans) they would have had more time.

    February 13, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. chris from stl.

    He could have phoned in his vote .... This how the govt works .... no commonsense at all.

    To those who complain that they did not have time to read the final version of the bill ... baloney. I don't buy it. The idiots discussed and trashed the bill line by line .... it is the same bill with very little modifications that they discussed on.

    February 13, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. RJ

    I'm sure if it was a Republican senator, the voting would not have been held open for "hours" and no military plane would have been provided by the White House to personally fly him in for his vote.

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

    February 13, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Between PUMA and Operation Chaos!

    Is there a PUMA in the house?

    February 13, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Franky

    "including visits to health care providers, cost of over-the-counter drugs for symptom relief, often-inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions and missed work days - with direct and indirect costs of about $60 billion annually."

    You see guys, look at what cold does, and is cold for crying out loud! I just wonder if the American people understand what they know...let alone this is how much is cost, imagine how much Republicans are costing us, LOL!! I'm playing, I'm playing. They are fiscally conservative, just like our teams in our city...sorry and we're cursed, forgot to mention, LOL!!

    February 13, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Bipartisan

    My deepest condolences to the Senator and his family.

    February 13, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. demo in PA

    well i hope all these sick people here that talk with haft a brain like there $4.dollars a week more it will pay you house , food are bills you have
    but you will have to pay it back with your taxes and it will be a lot more then $4 dollars a week

    February 13, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Republicans won the fight...haha. It does not matter anymore anyway.

    February 13, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. Chris in Va.

    I agree with dittoheadwith40names, those voting no in the House to the stimulus bill should simply receive no monies for their congressional districts, same for the senators and their states, unless one senator voted yes and one voted no, then they should receive 1/2. Then they could explain to their constituents why they voted no and why their state or district is on their own, I guarantee the tune would change.

    February 13, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Republicans won the fight. It does not matter anymore. Probably the shortest fight. A knockout really for the repubs.

    February 13, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. Gary

    It still amazes me in this day, that a Senator has to be in DC to vote. There's only 100 of you, we know who and where you are. You should be able to vote no matter where you are.
    We allow citizens to vote absentee, but if you are a senator, sick in the hospital, you don't vote?? Burying your Mother, you don't vote??
    Stupidest thing I ever heard of.
    Oh yeah, hey Bohener, where you been the last 3 weeks? Maybe Sarah Palin can give you reading lessons. Instead of sitting there acting like an idiot ( maybe not acting) you would go to work and read. Don't just spew your hatetred.

    February 13, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Lance Coardill

    To hear Obama tell it, for all the benefits of the package, sending Air Force One for the guy would be cost justified. After all, doing so will create, what, 10 government jobs for those that end up having to wash and clean it up after it lands?

    February 13, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Steve Dallas

    The bank bailout was wrong. This bailout is wrong.

    Bankrupting our children to socialize our nation is WRONG. I'm in Washington state, one of the more liberal states in the nation, and EVERYONE I work with thinks this bill is wrong, and they are Democrats. I don't personally know ANYONE that supports this bill, or the previous bank bailout one.

    Yet, our glorious leaders are pushing this for all it's worth to socialize this nation because that's what they believe.

    Is this really the change everyone believed in?

    February 13, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. well there it is

    Lies, lies, and more lies. $400 tax credit is $7.69 per week – whoopie, That will cover a six pack of beer after they raise the alcohol taxes. Oops, sorry, that's a depressant. Ok, it will buy two mocha lattes. Why not some sensible ideas like switching diesel and gas tax rates. Federal diesel taxes are 24 cents per gallon, gasoline 18 cents, yet we use three times as much gasoline. There's money to help rebuild roads while reducing shipping costs lowering other products prices. Plus it will cause more people to consider an immediately viable technology to reduce petroleum usage. Diesel vehicles get 25 to 35 percent better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts. And their engines have fewer moving parts meaning they tend to last much longer. Hmm, more value from a simple change.

    February 13, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  23. Obama 2.0

    The Republicans are amazing, they are all over the news talking about the things that were striped from the bill as if they care or helped in the process.

    If there is anyrthing missing that should be in the bill, then it is on the backs of the lazy, do nothing, No voting Republicans. What a dysfunctional group. I hope they did not strip counseling and treatment for the GOP because they are in need of some brain stimulus!

    February 13, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Gene

    I agree with dittohead.. any senator who votes against this bill should not expect any economic benefit from it in their own region.

    Truth is that the republicans are voting against it because the RNC are threatening their careers if they vote yes.

    So let those states that elect their representatives that vote no not participate in the stimulus. They did not vote for the bill, therefore they should not enjoy the benefits of it.

    February 13, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Brad/San Diego

    Why are all you right wingers so upset about a Sentor mother dealth, Knowone complain about your mother so why are complain about this Sentor mother. You republicain make me sick, you have no feeling for anyboby but abunch of right wing repulicans. The man is seeing to his mother what is wrong with that, he will be back in time to vote yes for a Bill that is needed for our country.

    February 13, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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