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. Jake

    I thought the last 8 years were bad. President Obama and Speaker of the House Pelosi have done more to ruin our nation, domestically and internationally in the past month and a half than Bush did in his two terms.
    Democrats should be just as ashamed as Republicans over what both parties have been sending to Washington. Yes, there are good people in both parties but the rotten apples are terrible.
    Join the 25,000,000 people who have changed their vote on President Obama. If the elections were held today, President Obama would be somewhere below Ralph Nader. He took a bad situation and actually made it worse.

    Ron Paul/Jesse Ventura '12????

    March 6, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Diggers

    3rd party is looking better and better every day.

    March 6, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    We all seen this coming at the end of last fiscal year. How many people cast a vote for an incumbent? The only way we'll have real change is to get rid of the Senators and Congressmen (women) who are in office now. Wise up America!!!!!

    March 6, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. james

    I am having difficulty in coming to grips with the reality that we actually elected a communist as President and idiots on meds to lead congress. Very sad and very stupid of us as citizens of this great country.
    I think I am seeing how easy it is to tear something down that took so long to build.
    All in favor of President Obama and Speaker of the House Pelosi resigning effective in 2 seconds say Aye. AYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. Carl from Texas

    So let me get the straight...

    the republicans are hypocrites so shame on them.

    the democrats are just forcing issues down our throat with threats so shame on them.

    March 6, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. mimi

    Can't we all just get along?

    March 6, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. osama

    Dems need to wise up and dump pelosi.

    March 6, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  8. Obama - NOPE


    March 6, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. Shan

    So 'True America' /your/ agenda then, is immigration. Gotcha. That'll fix everything, eh?

    March 6, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. JEFFersonian

    A wise man once said...

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

    “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

    “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

    “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    – Thomas Jefferson

    Prophetic isn't it.

    March 6, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. Lori

    I would be upset too like Ms. Pelosi. The 'pork' is both from the Dems and Repubs and this bill has slightly less earmarks than during the Bush administration. Let's move on and stop the bleeding.


    March 6, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  12. Rafael VA

    Can San Francisco be brave enough to get her out of her seat in CA 2010??? Don't count on it there is Pelosi for long... As an Independent I still think that at least one of the three branches needs to be from the opposite party so let's get the GOP in the house and we will be sure to knock Pelisi of her seat... Pelosi stop spending my money!!!!

    March 6, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. Penn Voter

    Block the Bill, Prevent the Pork

    I don't care what the Republicans did or did not do when Bush was the president. I don't care what they did when the held the senate or the house. I don't care what the Democrats did for for the past several years.

    All I care is that the BS stop now! Our Senators and Congress need to stop wasting out money. We worked hard for the money that was taxed. Now I want them to spend our taxes wisely.

    March 6, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  14. Joel W

    What we're witnessing is proof that the collective "wisdom" of 69 million people can be disastrously wrong.

    March 6, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. S Callahan

    Lord, in our selfish ways we have ignored you. As Jeremiah did I plead with you to bring peace and stablity to this nation. God have mercy on us!

    March 6, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  16. carly

    James wrote, "All in favor of President Obama and Speaker of the House Pelosi resigning effective in 2 seconds say Aye. AYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    AYE! (except can we make it ONE second?)

    March 6, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  17. Roland Lamontagne

    The way this country is going and the way Congress is acting is a sure formula for an American Revolution! With foolish ear marks being pushed down our throats, bailing out irresponsible self centered CEOs, while unemployment hits a 25 year high, and retirees losing value in their retirement funds I am beginning to think it will not be long before Americans say "ENOUGH" and walk on Washington. It isn't going to be pretty when the National Guard is called out to keep order while citizens are yelling to fire Congress and demand a new election!

    March 6, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. bob

    Nancy Pelosi should resign she is nothing but a thorn in President Obama's side and has done NOTHING constructive since she came to power except be in love with her own sense of power..I am avid supporter of him and what he is trying to do. He doesnt need the likes of her and Reid they are obstructionists get rid both of them.

    March 6, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. go away mongers -Ventura CA

    Nancy is right- AGAIN. Repugs have NO LEADERSHIP and NO PLAN- look where they got us!

    March 6, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  20. Independent to the Max

    Just the beginning of their self destruction. All they can do is fight amongst themselves and blame the republicans for EVERYTHING. Real mature. Americans are beginning to see just what fools are running the show now. We all thought bush is bad, prince obama and queen pelosi will make him look brilliant.

    March 6, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. Larry

    I have no idea what you Democrats are thinking,the country is in dire straights ,and it's getting worse by the day-and you guys act like there isn't a problem in the world.The country doesn't have any money ,and your Democratic Congress and your President and his Cabinet are partying there brains out at night,and spending money all day--And you people DEFEND them for this,it's like a nightmare ,watching your people literally destroy our country in 2 months.

    March 6, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. Terry

    Nazi Pelosi is missing more than a few marbles. But I agree (but not to call anyone's "bluff") that they should keep last years budget. This stuff is moving way to fast. Somebody needs to put on the brakes and talk this over. Pull out all pork and do the responsible thing for the country. Real change would be to put country before party. How long has it been since that has happened?

    March 6, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  23. Lee

    Does this really surprise anyone? Politicians are not focused on doing what is best for the country, they focus on getting what they want and which makes them look good. In other words think a small child that has learned if it kisses up to the parents most of the time, and then cry when it doesn't get its way, then it always gets its way.

    As for the economy there are a number of issues. And while President Obama certainly is not only to blame he does share responsibility. He, and his administration, have taken a number of steps to emphasize the threats to the economy. Many of these statements are factually inaccurate or focus on the worst case scenario rather than facts which exist. As any good economist knows, a lot of market reaction is herd mentality. When you inspire fear or panic in consumers it is virtually certain markets will react negatively. Combine this with the fact that most of the "supportive" measures they have taken have been wholly lacking in substance (just look at Geither's press conference and the market reaction).

    When consumers are told that the economy is in its darkest period ever, and there is no end in sight, a natural response is flight. In the larger market this includes reduced spending and more conservative economic actions. In turn businesses project this reduction out to approximate its impact on their operations and reduce accordingly, including layoffs. This ripple effect impacts all market factors and creates its own momentum. Thus while the economic crises was initially overseen by political individuals no longer in office, it has been strengthened and continued by the current administration.

    I could go on for pages providing evidence and support, but really all that needs to be done is look at the trends related to government statements and markets (i.e. stock/consumer confidence/layoffs/etc.)

    As for the truth of the President utilizing these factors to push a socialist agenda he would otherwise be unable to get through, I personally believe that but it is not material to this discussion.

    March 6, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  24. Larry - Hazleton, pa

    Get the pork out of the bill – if they want earmarks then propose them in a normal fashion and let all see what they are.

    March 6, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  25. Val in MA

    Nancy may be ruining Obama's Presidency, but if things go south he will throw her under the bus in no time in front of the nation and he will be the king again. He's done it many time before. Why do people keep believing him is beyond me.

    March 6, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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