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. Anonymous

    Thank goodness for Obama. Finally, some attention is given to what matters to most of us: jobs, prosperity, education, infrastructure. All good things

    February 13, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Given the fact that the Republican Congress did nothing for this country for ten years, six of which they had a Republican president, why are so many people on the Republican's side now? Are there that many people who are so well off that they do not want to see the government do something that might help us for a change?

    People talk about the debt this bill will leave our grandchildren. Bush's policies, rubber-stamped by a Republican Congress, have already added several trillion dollars to the federal debt with no chance that those tillions would stimulate anything in this country. At least Obama's stimulus plan is supposed to create jobs in this country.

    As for Senator Sherrod Brown's travel costs, maybe we could start a memorial fund to repay the government. It would be money well spent.

    My condolencies to Senator Brown and his family for their loss.

    February 13, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. patricia campbell

    What stimulus bill? This is a bill that has a section to regulate our health care by big brother. Socialism. It has no stimulus for small business. The entire house and senate need to be fired. They need to have term limits, so we can get the idiots out. Nancy, Harry to name two.

    February 13, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. greenguy

    this is going to be the worst mistake ever. a bill of this size can not rushed regardless if the president gives a deadline. they voted on a bill without reading it. sounds like blank check politics. NO CHANGE will come.

    February 13, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. dtv

    “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.... the administration provided government transportation to ensure that he could do so.”

    If these guys really want to take care of the people, they should just pay for the plane themselves. Don't spend my money for their own convenience. A bunch of lying-straight-into-your-face suckers. They treat the American people like idiots.

    February 13, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Apparently we have one party (Dems) who can READ and one party (ObstructiPubs) who cannot read.

    How did the Dems manage to read enough to deal with the changes that apparently only a small minute handful of ObstructiPubs who did read it were able to make.

    Dick and Jane
    Spot and Puff
    Baby Sally

    February 13, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. marty

    So...if this was a republican senator voting against this, a government plane, at TAXPAYER'S EXPENSE, would be sent to get him so he could vote???? What hypocrisy!! Just wait with the vote. Most of the money isn't going to be spent in the next 6 months anyway, so what difference would two or three days make?

    February 13, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. kate

    Dems get ready, never learn from history?
    Remember 1994? you're all out come 2010, we promise

    February 13, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. L Boldt

    Ted Barrett

    Thanks for the update.

    BTW Do you know what is up with
    E. Bayh and K. Gillibrand?

    Why haven't they voted?

    February 13, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Chris in Va.

    I really hope there is a provision in the stimulus bill to provide monies for the two Repulicans on here who post under 20 different names to buy a life.

    February 13, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Gerald Shields

    Sorry to hear about your mom Senator Brown.

    February 13, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. tama22

    First of all, I am very sorry for his loss. My condolences.

    However, is the country going to collapse if the vote doesn't come in immediately? It couldn't wait until Tuesday? Come on. I wonder if it would have been so important and time-critical if it were perceived to be a "nay" vote......

    February 13, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |

    Why are rethuglicans screaming about no time to read it. The only thing thats different is what was taken OUT of it.

    what a bunch of drama queens.

    February 13, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. Last Laugh

    One question, should the vote by chance come up one short with Brown's vote, do they keep voting open so they can fly in Kennedy?

    What impact will that have for the American people?

    February 13, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Scott L

    Why was the bill posted as an image? You can't even search the text. This Obama guy is lying to America (as usual). Nothing but lies during his campaign and nothing but lies lies lies now to the American people.

    Look at the Caterpillar debacle yesterday! "Caterpillar can rehire those same people!" President exists stage left. Caterpillar CEO "Um well we won't be able to any time soon"

    You people fall for Obama's lies hook line and sinker. He is a liar.

    February 13, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Jim from San Jose

    Once again, the party of no, the Grand Obstructionist Party, has said that they don't want any part of putty Americans back to work and kick starting the economy. This situation requires legislation that is quick, bold and decicive. The republicans want to close up open heart surgery with a bandaid.

    February 13, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. smc

    Well, do you know why the House had to vote for this bill without a single one of them reading it?
    Because the Queen of Botox had to catch a plain to Europe (also on the taxpayer's dollar of course) - she's trying to grab a photo op with the Pope.

    February 13, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. cobra

    It should be against the law to send a military plane to get someone except in an emergency that is not connected with the military. This is another example of the arrogance this idiot has. I would hope that there would be a couple of democrat senators with enough integrity to vote against this stealing of the treasury. I am from Montana and the two idiots here will blindly vote for it and you know that none of the fools have read the bill.

    February 13, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. cobra

    This Brown has no integrity either or he would not accept being flown in a military craft, just another example of the scum that is in congress.

    February 13, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. david

    the nation's business is far more important than a mother's wake. millions upon millions depend on the economy. the senator's mother's wake could have been postponed. it is a question of priority, millions of people come before one deceased person.

    February 13, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. b wallace

    I am tired of the republicans procastinating on the stimulas vote they need to wet in the pot or get up off it people are tired of this game they are playing.

    February 13, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Karen Burris

    Couldn't they have let Senator Brown submit his sealed vote to the

    Sergent at Arms this morning when the House was voting. He could

    flown to Ohio and not have to return. Then have his vote counted

    when the voting started in the Senate at 5:30pm

    February 13, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Nevets

    Imagine what the oversight and management of the spending will be in light of how hasty our Congress is in writing this bill and how disinterested it is in actually reading this bill! People will really be angry when they see their taxes raised later to pay for this reckless stimulus package and subsequent ones that will no doubt be coming from Obama and the Democrats.

    February 13, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. Mac

    I'm hoping his pilot is a conservative and doesn't bring him home until after midnight.

    February 13, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. Shirley in California

    It's a funeral people. Get over it. He is not jetting around.

    February 13, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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