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. jaye

    I feel so sorry for Senator Brown.

    February 13, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. John G

    If they have quorum there is no legal reason to delay a vote....

    February 13, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Tom

    It's unfortunate that only three Republicans were able to put country above party in this time of crisis.

    February 13, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. Mike - Houston

    Funny how this spending bill is working. Spending is increasing, yet Obama's target for job creation or retention has fallen from 4 million (press conference) to 3.5 million.

    By the end of next month, it will be zero job creation but a whole lot of inflation and debt.

    I don't think the Senator needs to come back and bury the rest of the nation.

    February 13, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  5. B-Koi

    You republican jerks war in Iraq is costing not only billions every month, but also costing lives of poor soldiers and innocent civilians, so don't you DARE talk about Obama's spending! Get stuffed !

    February 13, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. Gia

    I still say the only way to revive the economy is give at least 50K to every taxpayer and let us bail ourselves out and then put what's left over back into the economy. Why the hell not, it IS our money, after all!

    February 13, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. Dave

    Beverly, he has to be in person to vote because it's the LAW. You probably don't remember what that means being an obama sheep and all...so funny that you think that the republicans are the ones making him go to DC. Typical VERY ignorant lib...

    February 13, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    @ well there it is

    The fact that you would spend $3.85 on a mocha latte pretty much answers all the questions we need to know about what it means to be a "fiscal conservative."

    February 13, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. cybercitizen

    How about this compromise: Tax cuts only for diehard Republican states; stimulus package of equivalent amount in all the other states. We'll then see which states get their economies going, and which stagnate (like most of this country these last eight years).

    February 13, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    @ kate

    Rememberr 1994? How about remember November 4, 2008 FIRST? America already told you people what's what. Your conveniently selective hearing is going to anihilate your party.

    February 13, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Ed

    G.O.P.: When you got nothing, You got nothing to lose February 13th, 2009 5:21 pm ET
    FDR in 1936: "We know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
    EXACTLY! The Dem government so far is organized by money. SO WHAT'S YOUR POINT AGAINS THE REPUBLICANS?

    February 13, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Dave


    Very strange, you are bashing Bush for spending $12Bil a month for 5 years...that's $720Bil...your boy genius obama is spending more than that in less than a month...get a clue young man

    February 13, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    @ lanray

    Special treatment? His constituents want their voice to be heard. If he was a GOPer and didn't get the "special treatment" you're complaining about, you angry macaques would be throwing even more feces at our country.

    February 13, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    @ Mike – Houston

    He has consistently quoted numbers ranging from 3 million jobs to 4 millions jobs since the start. Cherry picking two covenient instances to make a false point makes you look dumber, not smarter. I could very easily find two instances to make it sound like he's raised the bar to 4 million from something lower.

    February 13, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    @ Dave

    You're talking out of both sides of your mouth. The GOP has complained consistently that this $800B will be spent over time, not immediately, presumably because they want it to have an effect before 2010 and they can take some credit to get more seats. You're just claiming it's $800B in one month right now because it's expedient.

    February 13, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. bibihenna

    republicans are very good in foot tap taping bathrooms

    February 13, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. Morgan

    Is it just me or this argument that this bill will mortgage our kids future over blown? The last 8 years when the Repubs spent spent and spent to raise the deficit trillions of dollars mortgage our kids future. It's just a silly argument.

    February 13, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. Ed

    Sniffit February 13th, 2009 8:47 pm ET
    @ well there it is
    The fact that you would spend $3.85 on a mocha latte pretty much answers all the questions we need to know about what it means to be a "fiscal conservative."
    I really don't know where you're sniffing it, Sniffit! It's the Liberal loons who love their lattes! Conservatives are quite content with a cup of home-brewed Joe! We spend our money on more imporant things - like NOT buying a house we can't afford - like saving money for that "rainy day" - like taking care of our own families, because we know that they will take care of theirs - like paying our taxes (unlike Obama's cabinet appointees). So keep sniffing it, Sniffit - and where you're sniffin' it STINKS!

    February 13, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. Independant Thinker

    How much is he going to PAY the TAXPAYERS for this special flight???

    February 13, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. Dave

    In response to BKOI-
    Please don't call our soldiers poor innocent soldiers...they are soldiers, that is their JOB, to defend freedom. I understand that you wouldn't understand that...

    BKOI said "You republican jerks war in Iraq is costing not only billions every month, but also costing lives of poor soldiers and innocent civilians, so don't you DARE talk about Obama's spending! Get stuffed !"

    February 13, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  21. jaye

    The republicans are all gathered in their little groups saying,
    Heil Limbaugh!!
    They're so worried that he will single them out on his radio show (the one that pays him 800 million dollars) and talk bad about them.
    Oh, those poor poor republicans.

    February 13, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  22. jp,michigan

    Check back in the morning, by then the Senator should have voted!

    February 13, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. Drew

    You know what will be the beauty of this.

    10 or 15 years from now when we all look back we will be saying Wow, Friday 13th 2009 the day President Obama the Democrats and 3 Republicans decided that America had to change course. The last person to vote was Senator Brown from Ohio at 10:30 pm.

    Guess what? If all goes well which I know it will.
    what will the republicans run on for 2012 or 2016?
    Who will vote for them if this plan works?
    what will be their slogan? Tax Cuts..

    February 13, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  24. MD


    Get a clue...Obama is injecting this money into the economy in the hope of getting the country and the world out of recession.

    Bush spent 720 B on a war that should have never been waged. The higher cost of the Iraq war is 4200+ American lives.

    February 13, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. bibihenna

    cnn i thing you all are bathrom tap taping team thats why you do not post my comments

    February 13, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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