March 6th, 2009
04:18 PM ET
12 years ago

House Democrats not happy with their Senate colleagues

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Democrats expressed frustration Friday with their Senate colleagues after being forced to stay in town to approve a spending bill to keep the federal government from shutting down.

An exasperated Rep. David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee - which writes the spending bills - exited the House floor and curtly said, "There's no point in whining. I just want to get things done."

The Senate's inability to pass a $410 billion government spending bill for the remainder of 2009 on Thursday night meant the House had to pass a temporary spending measure to keep the government operating. After voting Friday 328-50 to pass the stopgap remedy, some House Democrats accused senators of neglecting their duties.

"We'll stay all night if we can't approve something. They just go home for the weekend," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York.

"I suppose there is a sense of frustration that we couldn't move forward," said Rep Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut.

Some of the House's most liberal members have complained about the Senate Democratic leadership's inability to pass legislation already approved by the House, such as the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus bill. That legislation was held up by a bipartisan group of Senate moderates, and the resulting bill was less appealing to many House Democrats.

But DeLauro acknowledged the political landscape of the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to approve all controversial legislation, and insisted that future policy initiatives will not be derailed.

"They have a certain set of circumstances that exist there. We are two separate, individual bodies," she said.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. The One

    Blame Republican obstructionists!!! It's all their fault.

    March 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Ray Fisher

    I'd propose a law requiring Congress to live on Food Stamps whenever they fail to fulfill their responsibilities except the food stamp program would go bancrupt also...

    March 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    I'm not happy with any of them.

    March 6, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. M. Gorbachev

    Seriously? The U.S. doesn't have ONE decent Russian translator working at State Dept.? Or did the Secretary simply dust off her pocket Russian-English dictionary on the drive back from Staples?

    How does one say "Easy" in Russian?

    March 6, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. maf

    OMG, a politician (or group) has to work a weekend to earn the huge money they get. . . give me a break! Maybe they should all be given a break, make sure you vote in 2010 and tell the elected officials they work for the PEOPLE!

    March 6, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Heather

    Yes, how sad they have to stay in session to work on this. Not like anyone should actually hold goverment to a promise to control wasteful spending.

    God forbid we should ruin their weekend plans.

    March 6, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Beverly, NYC

    Oh poor babies have to work the weekend. Welcome to the live of your constituents. Suck it up!!!

    March 6, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. southerncousin

    Gotta agree with Hussein on this one, although I will worry that Rahm Emmanuel has figured out some dark way drive this country further in to debt/socialism in doing so.

    March 6, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Michelle

    Interesting to hear about the background stories on the Hill. Frustrating Congress can't get their act together when we really need them to.

    March 6, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Had It

    Awwwww – poor babies. Thousands of dollars in raises and they can't go home for the weekend.

    Why don't we give them $30 or 40 a month like Soc. Sec., and give Older Americans $4000 to $6000 per yar increase?

    They have free health care provided by us. AND a good retirement guaranteed by our taxes.

    Awwwwww – poor babies.

    March 6, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Perusing-through

    Maybe Senate Leader Harry Reid can explain the reason for the hold up?

    March 6, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Shooky

    Don't they realize David Obey is tired from writing all that pork into the last spending bill?

    Besides, David Obey has to hurry and lead the rest of the axe-weilding dwarves to Mordor to defeat the Orcs.

    March 6, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    so, lets get this straight.....uh, never there anyone not fighting someone else anywhere....anymore?

    March 6, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. walleye

    If I can work a 40 hour week, then my elected officials should also instead of working only a few months of the year. They get paid a heck of a lot more than I do.

    March 6, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Kiddo

    Heck, right now, I'm not happy with Washington at all. When are these folks going to remember they're adults and that it's not the party that's important, it's the country. They need to quit their bickering and infighting and work together to get this country back from the brink that Bush and company got us to.

    March 6, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Ken

    I think it is time for our elected officials to do a HONEST DAY"S WORK, and not worry about going back home.

    During such a time and that so many Americans are struggling to pay their bilss, feed their family or keeping a roof over their heads, it is the least that our elected officials can do for us.

    Get rid of ALL OF THE PORK and PET PROJECTS!

    March 6, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. MAD

    Truth be told, no one wants to hear about these folks whinning about working over the weekend when millions of Americans would love to have that particular problem. They need to GROW UP and get some of the people' s business done. They need to remember they ran for these jobs....

    March 6, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Morgan

    Pelosi and company are just now realizing they need to be more moderate? I'm sorry I'm an Obama supporter but Pelosi and other House dems need to wake up or go home.

    March 6, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. JonDie

    Nancy Pelosi may single-handedly give the Republicans majority control of Congress in spite of the fact the Republicans are single-handedly responsible for causing the collapse of our nation's entire economic structure.

    March 6, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Yo, Congress– have you heard that The People are very much opposed to continuing "last year's business" with all the pork and would like to see a bare bones budget rather than some hasty attempt to ram through Obama's socialist agenda before his power fades?

    March 6, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Kevin in Ohio

    Cry me a river. Get to work!

    March 6, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. HEIDI

    Congress that's right get things done, that was what the people voted you into your office to do, no matter what it takes.
    I am tired of all this bickering between both of the parties, the internal bickering between the Democrats. Just take care of business so that we can get this country running again.

    March 6, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. No Vaseline

    Self destructive Democrats. Almost as bad as idiot Rethuglicans. You're all losers!

    March 6, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Matt

    In other news Americans are unhappy with both House and Senate Dems and would like them to stop using this crisis to rip us off.

    March 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Michael M. Noonan

    Thank the Lord for a measure of sanity in Senate Democrats. The dems. in the house have become populist twits.

    March 6, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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