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. JSU-TIGER99

    Sorry about his lost, Why not have someone to vote for him

    February 13, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Paul

    Americans voted for a change....and a change it is......we were NOT lead to believe that a stimulus pacakge was going to be PENNIES but a LARGE amount of money close to or over 1 trillion dollars....

    And NOW we are close to HAVING what the MAJORITY of voters elected OBAMA to do....hopefully solve or begin to solve this REPUBLICAN economical crisis.......

    The Republicans are attempting to STALL this stimulus package by whining and bickering to the American public.....well it is Not going to work.....their proposal of tax relief of $13 per weekly pay check....doesn't do anything But A SLAP IN THE FACE OF THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WORKER.....WOW big deal for a lousy 13 bucks!!!!


    An independent!!!

    February 13, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Jen, Cali

    Dear Republican Senators:

    Please vote PRESENT on the so-called "stimulus" plan.

    February 13, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. kkbmom

    Ridiculous that he has to be physically present. Let's move the Senate into the 21st century.

    February 13, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. bleeding heart republican

    well, if all of you democrats will agree to start paying your share of taxes (until waiting until you are vetting for office), then i say fine... go for this bill. but if you are voting it in just to expect the republicans to support your pork you are in for a rude awakening. this bill will be the demise and downfall of america. oh, and next in line, obama wants the taxpayers to also pay for the houses that freddie and fannie forced banks to give loans to people who had no intention of paying for them, so they can get a free house. awwww, ain't that nice? reminds me a bit of socialism...

    i liked the three stooges theory, by the way.

    February 13, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Oneonamission

    Each member of the GOP should be "ashame" for there blatent attempt to block America'a progress irt (Stimulus Bill) and toward the future welfare of this country. How dare them play the "we just want to make it better" role toward a this bill, when they've had 8 years to make it better but instead drove this country to the brink of economic annialation.

    February 13, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. redwhtblu

    Why can't one Republican Senator step up to the plate and do the right thing by giving the 60th vote for the stimulus package. That way Senator Brown can be with his grieving family and save the taxpayers the expense of flying him to and from Washington.

    February 13, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |

    Oh So meny stupid poeple and comments. You don't deserve a gov. you deserve a tyrent

    February 13, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. Ben in Dallas

    This is the peoples business and it is important enough to make it happen before the republicans foul it up.

    February 13, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Ty

    Republicans are talking about the waste of money to support the U.S. economy and all the waste in the Stimulus bill. Where were these same Congressman and Senators when in 2003 President Bush with Republican votes decided to go into Iraq at a cost of 12 Billion dollars a month for a total of 864 Billion dollars to defeat regime in Iraq and to build up the infastructure in Iraq. Why Iraq and not a horrible regime in a country in Africa? Neither had anything to do with 9/11, Both in Africa and in Iraq there were regimes that committed horrible crimes against their citizens and the neighbors. Hello this package supports the citizens of the United States of America. Isn't infastructure here in the U.S. as important as the infastructure in Iraq that they voted funding for? Maybe there is an issue of who are the real loyal Americans.

    February 13, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. dittohead with forty names

    What do pages do other than the obvious?

    February 13, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. republicans hate america

    They would not need him if the do nothing republicans would actually do something for this country. But they would rather destroy America because they hate this land and the people that inhabit it.

    February 13, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. Caligirl

    Viet Vet February 13th, 2009 6:11 pm ET

    Sorry – -The topic I wanted to make a comment on is closed

    For those of you who want a knowledgeable left wing talk host
    who has kicked Limplips big butt- -Check with your radio station
    for Randi Rhodes–She is awesome and knows her stuff.
    Or you can google her name and find her online.

    I second that Viet Vet. Randi is great.

    February 13, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. Conrad

    Pathetic display of Gov't. When some one is pressuring you to sign the papers or close the deal, it is because the deal STINKS!!! These morons don't mind playing with our money. Every American regardless of party should be pissed at Pelosi and Reid for this pathetic display. Pelosi rushed the vote so she could go to Europe. California voter her out!!! The entire process has not been handled at Obama said it would be done. Breaking all the promises for review on the package!! HMM yah that really sounds like change. Pathetic!!!

    February 13, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Albo58

    Can you imagine just signing a $1T check and trusting someone to fill out the details? That's exactly what the House and Senate members did by voting for this rubbish! The market will definitely reflect this stupidity as the new president and his cronies conduct their nauseating ceremony of signing this fraudulent document into law early next week. Along with the wasteful spending in this bill, people will remember well the "close door deals" and the terribly short-leash release of this bill before the actual voting by the Congress. If President Obama wanted to exhibit his leadership and integrity during this time, he has failed miserably!

    February 13, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. Mike

    What a bunch of BS we recently had a local elected official removed from office for improper use of a trailer what gives,I know his mom died but now we taxpayers are paying for personal transport .I need a ride to Hawaii how do I sign up

    February 13, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Hazel

    Dear Republithugs:
    Elections have consequences.
    You lost.
    Put on your grownup undies and deal with it.

    February 13, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Lynn

    CNN: How about Gallup doing a poll on how the public views your coverage?
    Let's rate you every week or even better after every show!!

    You are not a news station but a tabloid which solely runs on tearing people down, creating controversy and puffing up your own egos.

    Let's also have some statistics about how your "crew" has been deemed "the best political team on television".

    February 13, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Candy Wilson

    You are one of my most respected and admired senators.. I had the priviledge of seeing you and hearing you speak as an opening for Sen Biden at the rally at OUE in St. Clairsville..May I send my deepest sympathies to you and you family on the loss of your mother..May the Love of Jesus comfort you all.. May the Good Lord also help you in guiding this country through such a difficult time.. God Bless You, Candy Wilson

    February 13, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. Joe

    So, now it is "save or create 3.5 million jobs"? Last week it was just "create"? Another word game to hedge a situation so no one can say the stimulus failed to deliver the 3.5 million jobs.

    February 13, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. JT

    My prayers to the senator and his family.

    February 13, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. LindainAtlanta

    Jon in California!!

    You are so right and I hope it really happens that this gets "dumped" on the three stooges.... all that campaign blather about openess in government....what a load of ****

    We get what we pay for and this time round, the American taxpayers are going to pay really big time and a long long time for listening to that looser who is currently living in the WH.

    February 13, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Mike G

    The Senate needs to update the rules and allow votes from anywhere! And Kyle, 51 votes are needed when no senator filibusters a bill. Since 60 votes stops a filibuster then, in this case when a senator is expected to filibuster the stimulus bill, 60 votes are needed.

    February 13, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  24. janet, ohio

    Why do these people feel that they have to go on and on and on about the stupid plane? Have we really become so petty as to begrudge the man the necessary means to vote in Congress and also attend his mother's funeral? Geeeeeez

    February 13, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. lanray

    such special treatment for a vote! sounds like there is some insecurity out there! Let the man be with his family during this time of loss. Deal with the real vote numbers and quit trying to "arrange" votes. I see no change from the horrors of the Bush/Chaney administration. Same scenario just different players. Omama, where all of your changes and implied support?

    February 13, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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