July 5th, 2009
07:06 PM ET
12 years ago

Stimulus money needs to be spent faster, Dems say

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/05/art.steny0705.gi.jpg caption="House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Sunday that the president's $787 billion dollar stimulus plan was taking too long to create jobs in the struggling economy."]
(CNN) - A leading congressional Democrat and Republican both expressed disappointment Sunday with the pace of the government's economic stimulus program, but offered differing views on whether it was a good idea.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said allocating the $787 billion in the stimulus package pushed by President Barack Obama to create jobs was taking too long.

"We're disappointed," Hoyer, D-Maryland, told "FOX News Sunday." "We're looking at ways to get the money out more quickly."

Hoyer's Republican counterpart, Rep. John Boehner, said on the same program that the stimulus bill passed by Congress in February was flawed.

"You can't spend $800 billion of taxpayer money and not create jobs, when you say that's what the bill was for," Boehner, of Ohio, complained. Boehner said the bill only funds more government, rather than creating private sector jobs.

Democrats, led by Vice President Joe Biden, contend the stimulus money will begin launching more construction projects and other job-creating programs now that necessary mechanisms have been established and contracts signed.

"This was set up to spend out over 18 months," Biden said in an interview with ABC's "This Week" program. "There are going to be major programs that are going to take effect in September - $7.5 billion for broadband, new money for high-speed rail, the implementation of ... the new electric grid. And so this is just starting."

Neither Biden nor Hoyer would comment on whether an additional economic stimulus package is necessary to help pull the U.S. economy out of recession. The latest unemployment figures issued last week showed a 9.5 percent jobless rate, the highest in more than two decades.

Boehner, however, warned against more government spending to heal the economic problems.

"I don't believe it will create jobs," he said, calling instead for reduced taxes to let small business and consumers spend their money as they choose.

Boehner called the scope and speed of Obama's domestic agenda - which so far includes the stimulus package, a health care overhaul now working its way through Congress and an energy bill to combat global warming passed by the House - "nothing short of breathtaking."

The end result, he said, would be "bigger government, higher taxes, less freedom for the American people."

Filed under: economic stimulus • Extra • Joe Biden • John Boehner • Popular Posts • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Joe in NJ

    Every night I can go to bed with a clear conscience knowing that I didn't vote for Obama. Spend the money faster! Sure, that way they can push through another useless stimulus bill. I would like to see hard figures on exactly how many permanent jobs the stimulus has created. What's really sad is that very few of the jobs that may be created are manufacturing or white collar jobs which is what this country really needs.

    Obama is absolutely clueless as to what he is doing.

    July 5, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Brian

    I didn't vote for Obama. However, I do think it's too early to judge the stimulus plan. In about a year and a half we'll have a more accurate idea of how it's all working.

    As for Obama being reelected or not, he's much more at risk his second term if the Republicans come up with a strong candidate this time, and not someone who's "turn" it is (McCain). They were fools not to nominate Romney or Huckabee last time.

    But there's one simple rule that's apparently been accurate 100% of the time since the early part of the 1900s: If there is job growth in the second quarter of the year of the presidential election, the incumbent party wins. If there is job loss in that quarter, the incumbent party loses.

    July 5, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Hugo

    Still seeing the posts blaming 8 years of Bush for the current situation: One more time: The economy did not falter and was still plugging along as I remember, even after 9/11. The demise came with the housing market collapse brought on by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, this was in about the last two years of the Bush Administration. During which time the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate. Special thanks for the condition of our economy needs to go out to: Obama, Barney Frank, Franklin Raines, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Maxine Waters,SEC, ICE and of course ACORN. Please, before you continue to blame the Bush Administration for this alone, do some homework. Believe me, there is enough blame to go around for all, the question should be why on earth would anyone in our country want to expand government giving these idiots more power and more of your money?

    July 5, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. annie against biased news

    Quit printing counterfeit money and let they economy take care of itself. Keep the demon-crats hands and the repubbies hands out of the till. Economy is like seasons it goes in cycles unless a bunch of criminal politicians get ahold of it.

    July 5, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. Dr. Sam

    The President appears to be losing a bit of public support right now because of the high unemployment numbers. Before Republican politicians begin to rejoice, they must ask themselves : what is their fall back strategy when the economy begins to rebound and employment figures begin to go up? I remind them that only about 10 per cent of the stimulus money has been allocated. Therefore, the Obama adminstration must ditch the rather wooley argument about misreading the extent of the problem"that sounds more like excusses and lack of proper insight and homework. The President, and the administration, must insist that we will get a better picture of program's effectiveness only after about at least 60 per cent of the stimulus money has been allocated or spent. Here one must ask: Is Vice-President Biden the right man for this"is he getting the money out quickly enough? The adminstration had initially presented a compelling argument that speed was of essence in approving the stimulus package. Why the delay now in getting the money out? The adminstration will ultimately lose its credibility on the other big ticket items if public perception continues to erode. Republican Party politicians seem better at fraiming the issues to their advantage and they work with the best public relations firms. Democrats must realize that in politics perception is everything. They are in a public relations war with their opponents. They cannot afford to lose this war when so much that is important remains to be done!

    July 5, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Joan

    I'm very concerned at how slowly stimulus money is going out to the states. Here in California, we are cutting so much out of the budget that it will take decades for us to recover, yet no stimulus money has come. As a result, our budget to repair levees and the delta has been slashed to ridiculous levels....even though the Army Corps of Engineers has rated our levees to be in worse shape than in New Orleans.

    I'm shocked to hear Biden say that the money was planned to be spent over the next 18 months...if so, why were states scrambling to come up with "shovel ready" projects that could go to bid within 90 days? Well, 90 days have come and gone, and no bids have been awarded here in California for big projects that will put thousands of people back to work.

    We're desperate!

    July 5, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. I hand out crying towels for republicans daily

    Take care of that cavity Steny,not the one in your tooth,the one in your head.hahaha

    July 5, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. Gordon Raymond

    You can "spend" as much money as you want and not create jobs. Ask Bernie Madoff. It all depends on WHERE that money ends up. From recent government experiments with job outsourcing, corporate mismanagement, golden parachutes, and a host of other social ills, we can all be pretty darn sure this 800 billion WILL NOT end up back in the hands of the US taxpayer. My guess it that more than 50% of it will leave the United States forever.

    July 5, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. Neville

    If the government had gave the money directly to the people, I bet this economy would not be in this situation. Obama your failing.

    July 5, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. SarahPalinNextFOXbigmouth

    Wow, almost every post on this board is from some GOP know-nothing. Did you spin meisters even read the article. It says that almost none of the stimulus money has been spent yet. Hence, oh brilliant ones, it has not yet been able to stimulate anything. Duh!!!!

    Are you following this? It's not difficult.

    P.S. I do wish that the money could have been put into play faster/earlier. Let's be honest, though; the GOP geniuses are going to be sifting through the expenditures looking for $500 toilet seats or whatever, so I suppose extreme oversight is a good idea (I mean, we all know how important government oversight is to Republicans, cough, cough).

    July 5, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. Andrew O.

    I have to agree with both of the Congressmen quotes in this article. Yes, it needs to be spent faster, and there has already been speculation of ANOTHER stimulus package in the future. It seems like they are going to attempt to pass another stimulus before the first one is spent. Seeing as the job market has continually gotten worse, I think Obama may be digging himself into a hole. We need results. Lastly, these jobs that Obama is creating seem to all be for temporary projects! What happens when the high speed rail line is finished? Where do those jobs go?

    July 5, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. CanadianGeorge

    As an ardent follower of all North American news and politics, my initial feeling was that Obama would be good for the USA. However, that exuberance has disappeared based on the apparent corruption and self-serving formats he has endorsed of tax-payer dollars. Wake up America...Obama is no better than Bush...maybe even worse, I hate to say...because the devil you know really is better than the devil you don't....Obama just looks better and speaks more lucidly, but Obama still goes with the same Wall Street language and ties to Rich Vested Interest Groups. Ever wonder where all the BIG money came from for his campaign? Think about it before trusting your Prez implicitly. Nothing will change without a radical restructuring of your political system (fat chance to see that happen), and just like Katrina the $$$$$$$ won't ever see the light of day for the common citizen of the USA....it just somehow disappears into a dark abyss that nobody ever sees and fears to look too deep into. He's ill equipped and ill prepared to deal with problems of the immense scope the USA faces today. Maybe a nice guy but an ' establishment puppet' prez nonetheless.

    July 5, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. tommy baker

    we need another stimulus!!!!

    July 5, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. Brad

    Attention Obamabots,

    Many have you stated that Obama was handed a lump of coal from GWB. In that respect, I agree. However, if Obama truly had the qualifications to actually personally handle Executive level decisions, then he wouldn't be complaining so much about an Administration that is gone, long gone. Maybe Bamster is blaming the "lump of coal" because he has absolutely no idea on what to do? A true American President would NOT complain as much as TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States) does about the previous Administration. The occasional jab at the onset of a new Administration to the old is acceptable, but to continue to lament for months and months and months shows nothing more than publically stating you are in over your head and need to blame someone else for your inability to fix the issues at hand.

    Georgo Soros, you got what you paid for. You bought the White House and the United States recieved a puppet.

    July 5, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Here's GOP hypocrisy for you. When Bush Jr. passed tax break after tax break, it didn't work for two years. Only after the Fed lowered interest rates enough did the economy pick back up again. Now the GOP demands a stimulus to work within a few months! Where was this impatience with the last president? Nowhere! Partisan hypocrisy, nothing else!

    July 5, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. Satish

    oh come on..give obama some time...we waited 8 years to screw this country and cannot wait more than 6 months to fix it?

    July 5, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. Illinois

    I should have said silly slogan chanting politicians. Republicans certainly like their slogans as much as the Democrats.

    July 5, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. Peter E

    Fun fact: 3/4 of everything you own is borrowed! That's how much of the economy is the national debt! But of course the two parties always blame the other one for it. Where was the outrage when Reagan trippled the national debt? Where was the outrage when Bush Jr. doubled it? Let's face it, your 'tax cut' on deficit spending is an oxymoron. Your job, your income were built on debt to begin with. Afterwards you had the face to ask for more tax cuts saying that it's 'your money.' Well, it's not. It was borrowed to begin with. And now you dare ask for even more borrowing for your children to repay because you want a tax cut for yourself! Because you're selfish! And hypocritically you also dare to blame others for your children's burden! Put your money where your big mouth is and pay back the loan you got this economy on to begin with!

    July 5, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Bush Jr., at the end of his first four years had a job deficit. Where was the GOP outrage about that? FOUR YEARS! With his republican lackeys in Congress helping him! Now only after a few months they're getting impatient with Obama? Partisan hypocrisy!

    July 5, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. Paul

    Boehner et al says that the jobs that have been created so far aren't legit because they aren't in the private sector. I don't think anybody in their right mind who needs to put food on the table cares about that. Obviously Boehner has never had that problem.

    And for those crying about how the government has usurped some of the prerogatives that the private sector used to have, you need to remember that it is the basket case private sector that got us into this situation in the first place. Without Obama and gov't spending, you are right that we wouldn't be in a recession – we'd be in a depression instead

    July 5, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. Peter E

    I ask the GOP naysayers: what is YOUR plan? More tax cuts? Guess what, Bush II already tried that, repeatedly, and he still ended up with less jobs at the end of his first four years than when he began! Your plan is even worse!

    July 5, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  22. Solomon

    Typical CNN comments. Nothing but Obama hate and Obama praise. From the looks of it majority of people leaving comments don't know what they are talking about. Why is it so hard for people to be fair and in the middle. Why is everything about democrat or republican. Why do some only criticize Obama like he hasn't done anything right and why do some only praise Obama like he hasn't made a mistake. People act like there is only one side to be on.

    July 5, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. ohio resident

    Like much of the country Ohio is in terrible need of jobs. The tax stipulations here for business are unfriendly–NCR(dayton) is leaving for Georgia, along with several others to other destinations. States really need to look at their tax codes for businesses so that they will not leave any given state with a mass exodus of companies. The stimulus bill needs to include fair taxes for businesses as well as "creating jobs" across the country and also within the state governments. It's not a matter of spending it fast it's a matter of it needs to create permanent jobs no matter what party wins the battle.

    July 5, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  24. SM

    Let's see Bush had eight years to mess up this country and I didn't hear any of the Conservative Christians or Republicans hold Bush accountable for all of the sins he committed while in the White House.

    It took eight years for Bush and Cheney to run this country into the ground and it'll take decades to put this country on the right track.

    Think about this; You go to your doctor and find out that you have cancer. You don't know whether the treatment that he administers will work, but yet you'll take the medication to rid your body of the disease so that you'll live.

    The only sure fire thing that will work is putting our trust in Jesus Christ because he'll neither forsake you nor leave you.

    Once people begin to do this than they will be a lot better off.

    No such thing as a Conservative Christian. Either you're a Christian or your not.

    July 5, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  25. Mike, St. Louis

    "First they are against the stimulus then its not being spent fast enough."

    I don't see the hypocrisy here. People can be against something but want it be efficient if it is passed. Most conservatives were against the "stimulus" from the very beginning. However, it passed and there is nothing that can be done to change it. The only thing that can be done now is make sure that money is used efficiently. A good example of this is the Department of Education. Conservatives really do not like it. However, since it is impossible to get rid of, they are trying to find ways to make it an efficient system. I see no hypocrisy here and people really need to think before making statements like this above.

    July 5, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
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