March 6th, 2009
05:49 PM ET
11 years ago

Congressional Dems have 'heated' meeting over spending bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate and House Democratic leaders had what two sources describe as an extremely heated meeting Thursday night about the spending bill.

Once Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid figured out he did not have the votes to pass it, he and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin went to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to propose passing a five day resolution to keep the government running, and come back to the $410 billion spending bill next week.

The two Democratic sources say Pelosi reacted with “anger,” arguing that Democrats should instead adopt a “scorched earth” strategy and simply fund the government at last year’s levels through the end of the year. Her point, according to the sources, was that even though Republicans have been slamming the bill as wasteful spending, many of them really have an interest in seeing it passed. This would call their bluff.

One of the sources says Reid and Durbin pushed back, saying the bill increases funding for a lot of Democratic priorities slashed by President Bush, and that it was worth another try. At the end of the tense meeting, Senate Democrats prevailed.

This meeting was first reported by the Politico.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (492 Responses)
  1. jerry schneider

    Wolf Blitzer is being dishonest when he fails to provide the context for
    the Senates reaction to the omnibus spending bill – and I wish he would shape up. $7 B for earmarks, many of which are worthy in my view is just 1.7% of the total bill. Fortunately Jessica did point out that both Republicans and Democrats are proud authors of them – but Wolf says – the bill is loaded up with earmarks – and puts Republican Senators on with quotes that are equally dishonest. Cut it out – make "context" your watchword. For me, I'm through with CNN crap that is called "news" with WB.

    March 6, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. Gene

    Nancy Pelosi, while a talented politician, is obviously no Tip O'Neal. She should be concentrating on issues that are best for the country and working with people not against them. If she is incapable of doing so the country would be better served without her.

    March 6, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. BenderHeel

    Yet another example demonstrating the lack of leadership by Nancy Pelosi. But who cares what's in the best interests of the American people at this critical stage....let's continue our profligate spending ways!

    March 6, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Gordon

    I am a life long democrat and I support Obama. I believe Pelosi is a NUT! We need leadership in her position . She is doing a lot more harm than good .

    March 6, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Ken Cahill

    I am not usually in favor of "attack mode" as a model of running government. But, in this case, I side with pelosi. The Republicans will squash the incentives Obama is trying to get up and running and will waste a year or two before much kicks in. Then in the 2010 elections, they will be able to tell the public that the dems , as usual, haven't left the mark yet and the country is no better off. Let's hold their feet to the fire; go with avote and if they kill it; let's make sure the press knows about it and how the defeat impacts each and every citizen.

    March 6, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Jeremy

    Pelosi is one of the only ones with guts enough to step up and say, "hey, we won GOP. It's time that you start playing by OUR rules." Which is how they should be.

    March 6, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Phoenix

    The Republicans are the party of "NO". Know they see the light of controlling spending under the House control Democrats. I wish they could say, no to Rush Limbaugh.

    March 6, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Gary

    Moving this country to socialism is not the way. We fought communism at too huge a cost and for too long for ourselves to travel down that path. I hear North Korea and China are accepting emigres with socialist mindsets...Pelosi, Reid and the rest of you, get on the next plane and LEAVE!

    I'll take personal initiative, democracy, capitalism, and personal responsibility as my guiding light any day!

    March 6, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. jen

    It is looking more and more like Pelosi is running the country, she decides what Obama says, they both need to stop the spending!!!

    March 6, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Bill

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    March 6, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Mark

    I am disappointed that instead of working together, even amongst the Democrats, Pelosi would choose a “scorched earth” strategy just to attack the Republicans. It seems as if she doesn't care about the people she represents. I don't get it.

    Why is is so important to call a bluff? Why can't they just work together and get the pork out? As an example, there is over $500 MILLION earmarked for congressioinal discretion. They want to redo their offices, give raises to their staff, etc. Please read the spending bill. Several Democrats have publicly stated that it should be redone, and asked Obama to veto it as it stands. Pelosi can't blame that on the Republicans.

    This may come back to haunt her. She is clearly playing partisan politics, and throwing a hissy fit because she didn't get her way. I don't get it.

    Ms. Pelosi, please stop it, work to help us.

    March 6, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Jeanne Beans

    Rodney, I didn't see the remarks until after I'd posted my comment.

    You are correct. She was correct in criticizing the automobile CEO's for flying to DC in their private jets. Yet every weekend she flies home and back (California) with her cronies in a military jet. Guess who's paying for THAT?


    An Obama supporter, but not afraid to call it like it is.

    March 6, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. cindy

    I agree with Pelosi - call their bluff. The worse thing that could happen is a bunch of pork would be stripped out of a bill and the Dems would look good.

    March 6, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Doug

    Deb – It's not. It's just that we live in a superficial country where people are easily entertained, so the news agencies report what they think will cause a stir instead of what matters.

    Been following the Rush Limjoke nonsense?

    March 6, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Gilbert

    Congresswoman Pelosi needs to take a step back and remember what the Democratic party is about. We have went thru eight years of the same kind of retoric but from the other side of the aisle. We need to reach across and do exactly what the GOP would not do.

    March 6, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Marcus

    Pelosi makes me sick.... I've had it with her power-trip and attitude. There will never be bi-partisan cooperation as long as she's in position to prevent it...

    March 6, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. Darrell

    FINALLY!! I'm with Nancy on this one. It's time to call this partisan bluff.

    March 6, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Daniel Stepnick

    We need to get rid of Reid and Pelosi, neither one knows how to lead. We have Pelosi complaining about Auto Execs coming to Washington in Corporate aircraft. Well look at Madam Speaker, what gives her that privelege, and her B 757 Govermment aircraft. Then we have Reid on TV stating that Income Tax is Voluntary. What a bunch of losers, but they just represent the rest of them on Capital Hill.

    March 6, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Judy

    Who comes out of these meetings and gives these inane details to journalists who feed this to people as news?

    March 6, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Ben

    Seems like Pelosi is the one with the balls (Not meant to say she's manly in the way that McCain said that Janet Reno was Chelsea Clinton's father, but in the sense that she is right on).

    March 6, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. goodness the repubs are dumb

    none of this working together stuff for them

    straight out of the Rush/Oxycotin bible

    what happens when the Rush-man a.k.a. Jabba the Hut sobers up again?

    March 6, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Phil, CA

    Pelosi has to go as concurring with Obama 2.0, Rodney, and John. It is these 'excess baggage' to the government and taxpayers that need to be cut as always being 'part of the problem and not part of the solution.' If the Congress were comapred to any large organization seeking to 'right-size' itself, its these ancient relics that have 'served their purpose' (if that) that need to be considered 'earmark' employees. Fire them if they are always counter-productive. Lets seek ways to reshape / right-size the size of congress – that'll save a LOT of unecessary spending on wasted salaries.

    March 6, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Merle

    God...Pelosi, get over yourself...tell your constituents not to reelect you and go crawl back into your hole wherever that may be! AND STAY THERE! I wont EVEN start with Reid!

    March 6, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Pelosi needs to get Job a Mcdonalds.

    March 6, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. ED Fl

    The best thing that could happen in this congress is for REID AND PELOSI to realize that the two of them are the worst two persons in the government to get anything accomplished. To maintain the majorities we now have they should resign their present positions and remain in the senate and house while they can. Otherwise they both will be gone at the end of their present term. Never in my 75 yrs has their been leaders of the house and senate that are as despised as these two are.they attemtp to do things that are STUPID and will get nowhere. GIVE IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20