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. ronp


    One spent money tearing a country apart and the other is to put a country back together again. Which clue cards are you working with?


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


    Bush spent 720b in IRAQUE...

    Obama is spending in AMERICA...

    GET REAL!!!!


    February 13, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. Bill

    This is outrageous. They haven't had time to READ it - and they're willing to VOTE on it! OMG!

    February 13, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  4. libs be dopes

    Obama tells us that there are "absolutely NO earmarks" in this neo-socialism SPENDING bill.

    Well, folks... I hate to tell you this, but Obama makes things up.

    This, from the Washington Times:

    'Lawmakers and administration officials divulged Wednesday that the $789 billion economic stimulus bill being finalized behind closed doors in Congress includes $30 million for wetlands restoration that the Obama administration intends to spend in the San Francisco Bay Area to protect, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi represents the city of San Francisco and has previously championed preserving the mouse's habitat in the Bay Area.'

    February 13, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Gia February 13th, 2009 8:43 pm ET

    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!

    How naive, Gia! It's our money only until the government says "Gimme!" We commemorate that fact ever April 15th.

    February 13, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  6. Joseph

    I think this is a good thing, allowing a senator to vote on a bill especially when he is dealing with a loss is a decent thing to do. Since he has to be there for the vote and the importance of the vote I think allowing him to take a small government plane is not a bad thing to do.

    February 13, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  7. Sue

    WELCOME You are so wrong!

    I am a Democrat who reads papers, many sources online (including FACTCHECK) and I have a college degree (from ONE school, thank you very much, with high honors.)

    I have read as much of the bill as I can find, and until the Republicans stuck in the meaningless tax cuts, it did have many projects and jobs in it. Now, who knows? Since Republicans really want this to fail (and who is really gullible here-the people who believe every word out of Rush's lips maybe? Or the folks who think the lovely Sarah Palin has a brain? ) they are doing the truly cowardly thing and block voting. Now that shows something, but I wouldn't call it intelligence, particularly after they themselves watered down the bill with tax cuts.

    Educated? Republicans? These are the people who thought Palin was brilliant when she can't even speak proper English, let alone put a sentence together. These are the people who buy the "socialist," "Muslim", "arrogant" labels that Rush is so quick to throw onto Obama.
    Follow your own thoughts, and listen to someone other than Rush and the truly arrogant Sean, and maybe you'll become a more likable person.

    February 13, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  8. Uh Huh

    This is a disgusting example of just another slimy politician paying back the people who paid to get him elected. No one has even read this bill. What happened to giving the american people or even our elected officials time to even read it? Now they're paying for a plane to bring this senator back from his mother's wake??????? Do they really think that this couldn't wait another week or even 24 hours to give this guy a chance to grieve his own mother's death???? That's totally disgusting but an excellent example that this slimeball of a president will stop at nothing. And why don't they want to wait? Because it would give us all a chance to read it and see all the complete garbage that's in it. What the heck does "1 billion dollars for science" mean exactly? What kind of science?? Will it create jobs?? Will it stimulate the economy?? No one knows and that's just a single example of what's in this pile of feces put out by a liar and his group of slime. Enjoy and we'll see you in two years.

    February 13, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. Anne

    The Republican Party has become a Dictatorship.
    No one can have an independent thought, if you deviate from
    Party lines you are expunged [Reminds you of any other party that tried to take over Europe and the world].We fought in a world war over this ideology.
    Also remember the Republican Party said they were going to be a true opposition party.
    So no matter what President Obama does they will oppose him. They are self First,Party second and the country be dammed. Except for the few that voted for the package They are all sheep, toeing the line, not a backbone in one.

    February 13, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. Bill

    WHAT kind of horsepuckey is it that the Senate would vote on a MAJOR, MAJOR bill WITHOUT having had time to read/study it?

    A gift for Obama for President's Day? WHAT A TRAVESTY!


    February 13, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. dboston

    The republicans wanted a stimulus packet that would have put more money in their own bank accounts. They care little about the people out of work and giving them jobs. Guess what republicans – a tax cut on zero income is zero.

    February 13, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  12. Larry

    I'll see you ,and EVERYBODY else in a red state in 2010.

    February 13, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. aflagg@memphis.edu

    A government plane– and for some reason I also get the idea that SS men were involved as well...

    February 13, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  14. Michael Minorgan Montreal Quebec Canada

    tom you have it right it is really too bad the republicans (small "r") cant get over all this partisanship and work for the country for once they will never learn i guess they would rather follow limbaugh instead..what a bunch of self serving sheep. i dont see any thoughtful alternative put forward by them...so gop start putting your country first for God's sake!!!!

    February 13, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  15. CLYDE

    To death of American by Abama
    African American people are not trash in the Whitehouse


    February 13, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  16. Steve in Alabama

    I can't believe he's flying on a non-commercial jet!

    During these hard times when CEOs of companies are chided by Congress for flying on non-commercial jets I would've thought congressmen would practice what they preach. Don't Federal government officials live by the same rules as the rest of us.... I mean other than the fact they don't paying taxes and receive lavish gifts?

    February 13, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  17. John

    Ask GOP What does Rush Limbaugh say on this topic? -


    Freedom of Speech is not available for Rush Limbaugh, per US Constitution, because:

    1. He is a drug addict and he speaks under the influence.

    2. He is insane and of unsound mind.

    3. Freedom of Speech does not apply to Fighting Words and Hate Speech.

    4. He is anti-American and creates animosity.

    5. He is a big mouthed fat pig.

    February 13, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. Condolences to Senator Brown

    My condolences to Mr. Brown. He is truely living the life of a public servant.

    February 13, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. annie - Palin 2012


    February 13, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. Eileen

    More whining from the republicans about not having time to read the bill. This bill has been a work in progress for some time now, the has not been modified all that much from start to finish. If they were truly interested, they could have kept up and been well acquainted with the contents. Internet sites have worked through it and have been posting the revisions. It's been posted on the internet for all of us to see. They have also have staff to help with the review. Perhaps if they spent less time grandstanding on every media outlet and planning their political strategy and more time doing their actual jobs, they would have had the time to get through it. Their arguments just don't hold water...once again.

    February 13, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  21. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    sorry for the loss of you mother, but it is funny how it is okay for the so called prez can let him use a government plane to be sure that he can get back to put the screws to us real taxpayers but it will come back and bite him in the a.s.s and it will be funny to see how his followers feel when they finally read the bill and see that it is not about putting people back to work but nothing but pay backs for the ones that paid for him to be prez I just wish that it was for the people and not for them I hope you open your eyes soon and see


    February 13, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    No common sense idiots. Let's talk about b.s. celebs. Let's not talk about how stupid we are. Go away, thin skined, no self responsabilty, blame the people who grew up right A. holes. All of you. (cnn)

    February 13, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  23. phil

    I'm watching news about the vote and I find it interesting, the Republicans responses of not being able to read 1100 pgs of the stimulus bill, yet they seemed to know details that they felt were wrong. And, other than to say their version created twice as many jobs as the current bill for half the money........not one detail, not even how much money they want spend, excuse me, allocate to stimulus. If current bill is so wrong, why don' they share exactly what their ideas were? Because it's all BS! C'mon Republicans, get with it or get out.......

    February 13, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  24. New Yorker

    Gia – No, it is not our money. Once they steal it, it is their money.

    February 13, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. Joe

    Let's begin to count how many jobs Obama will create by spending almost $800 billions. If Obama's claim of creating 4 millions of jobs is right, then he will spend between two to three hundreds of thousand dollars in order to save or create a job. It would be better to distribute this wealth equally to every American so that everyone earning less than $250,000 can have a tax cut of 6.5 dollars a week. I guess that this bill is only good for buying a big Mac meal a week for an average working family. My god, that is my hope and the change Americans hope for!

    February 13, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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