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. Jo

    Call their bluff or lock them up until they can settle it. They are all acting like spoiled brats and each has to their own way. Send each one to a time out until they can behave.

    March 6, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    Call our bluff Nancy. We will GLADLY keep government spending at last year's levels.

    March 6, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Cecil

    You mean she was angry that the Republicans wanted to pull a "bait & switch"? Will fill it with their 40% of pork, but won't vote for it?

    March 6, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Brad

    This is an example of the Senate tryimg to save the Democratic Party from itself. Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats will run the Democratic Party off of a cliff and ruin the Obama Presidency if they are allowed to have their way. The public doesn't want either excessive partisanship or a far left-wing agenda.

    March 6, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Brian

    Seriously, I am a democrat, but we are the most uncohesive party I have ever seen. The Republicans may be wrong on most issues (at least in my opinion), but at least they have their act together and can act as a whole. We need new leadership in the House and the Senate, because Reid and Pelosi may ulitmately doom Obama's plans.

    March 6, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. MAD

    Congressional leaders: Ya'll are killing us. Can you please get on the same page so those of us counting on your leadership can survive...

    March 6, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Finally

    Good, I hope she finally grows some balls!

    March 6, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. HEIDI

    There has been more detail about the earmarks or pork spending. Some of these projects would bring jobs and income into those states that have those projects.

    The media needs to stop presenting this as all the earmarks in this 410 billion bill is crap and that President hasn't stated true to his promise of getting rid of pork spending. Also 40% of the earmarks are also Republican pet projects as well. CNN, MSNBC and all media outlet need to report the story line truthfully not just to have talking points and ratings.

    March 6, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. nate

    Green knit pantsuits make me crazy, too.

    March 6, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Jack - DSM, Iowa

    This would be Pelosi's idea of beig bi-partisian, I guess.

    March 6, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. kerry d

    Nancy and Harry are what is wrong with this nation.

    March 6, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. keith in california

    I voted Dem and think the bill is wasteful. All earmarks should be pulled or Obama should veto it. Funny, tho, that Republicans cry foul when 40% of the earmarks are for their pet projects.

    March 6, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. SherryD

    Go Nancy!!! We need to get fired up and call the Republican's bluff. Their wasteful eight years of spending in Iraq and lining the coffers of their rich colleagues need to be over.

    March 6, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. casey

    this woman is going to be the downfall of the president of the united states. when bush was in power she had no say so and went along w/ bush's every whim. this speaker is trouble.

    March 6, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. johnw

    Nancy Pelosi......

    Don't take your eyes off of her for one mintue. She leads the agenda and hasn't proven her worth as a leader. Our representation in government should be trusted, forthright and working to make things better, not 'show them' 'call their bluff' politics. That is not leadership

    March 6, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Why don't they get rid of the witch. She has been nothing but trouble since she started this job. She is worthless at what she does, as does Reid and Obama. I wonder if people are finally realizing just what a mistake it was to elect dems to run the congress and then elect this kid that really doesn't know too much about his job. He seems more interested in telling everybody how bad things are, but that he is the 'man' for the job and watch out! What happen to the 3.5mil new jobs? The way he is going it might be 3.5mil jobs lost in the month of March! Pelosi and Reid should be fired from their post and people who know what they are doing and also represent the people of America should be placed in Pelosi and Reid's positions. Smart people will do something about this crap come2010 or else we will be in this situation for a very long time. Obama hopefully will only be a one term dude. If people have any common sense they will finally see through him and realize they made a huge mistake in electing him. Thanks to you guys not really reporting everything about this dude many people voted because of what you said or lack of it! Thanks

    March 6, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Josh MN

    please legislative leaders.... govern responsibly..

    they should all read the Federalist papers before going back to work.

    March 6, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. No Vaseline

    Stupid politicians

    March 6, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Dennis, Millbrae, CA

    Until the mid-70s Congress was pretty much a collegial institution where there was civil debate. That has all changed and Congress has become a toxic cesspool of anger, retaliation, and blind partisanship, with the consequence being a dysfunctional institution where the Members serve themselves and forget they are supposed to be representatives of the people. My late father often said "if you fill a barrel up with politicians and roll it down hill there will be an a##hole on top at all times". He was a wise and observant man

    March 6, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. focused

    A good old "Showdown at the Capitol Hill Corral" is just what's needed. Throw some Republicans in the stew, close those doors, and duke it out until somebody yells, "Uncle."

    March 6, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. dthompson

    ..........stop spending money ....give us a tax break and things will get better...your no better than bush.

    March 6, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Len

    Let us not forget, this bill was from the last administration and it contains so-called "pork" that some republicans want for their states. So. please Republicans, let us not get high and mighty!

    March 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Zac

    Nancy Pelosi has the right idea!

    March 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Bruce

    Nancy, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Oh, that's right. You don't know what a kitchen is. You have illegals to take care of your cooking.

    March 6, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. stingray75

    Someone needs to tell Pelosi Obama is the President and she is not the Queen. An attitude like an old cheerleader who does not realize shes old!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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