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. Marc

    Mr. Joshua – quite the untrue and false post that of yours... The Republicans wanted to debate with the new POTUS? Really? When?
    Oh, sorry, I can recall now that they appeared on TV once or twice with 'alternatives' to the presidency plans about the economy, but none of them was worth a complete look due to their incredibly vagueness! No real deal alternative, with NUMBERS to back it up, was offered by the GOP, except whines and smears...
    And I stand by and support what the ECONOMISTS says about the ECONOMY; at the better scenario possible, things will get less bad this year and start to get back to what they were before the crisis in the next one... not what a bunch of whiners who dared to present an economic plan WITHOUT NUMBERS IN IT has to!

    July 5, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Jeff

    The similarities between this decade and the 1970s are astounding: war protests, oil crisis, etc. Obama = Carter. The good news is what comes next.

    BTW, for those of you who are still in a blind fit of rage at Bush, if Bush is responsible for this recession then Clinton was responsible for the 2000-02 recession. You can't have it both ways.

    July 5, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. Dudleo

    As for who caused the mess, let us not forget that Robert Rubin and Bill Clinton pushed the repeal of the law that restrictred investment banks. The stimulus will help in time, but blaming the mess solely on Bush is a bit off the mark.

    July 5, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    @pvel: "I would rather have the Democrats in charge than the Republicans."

    Why does the choice have to be limited to just one of those two parties? Isn't it possible that someone from outside the same old worn out, never-particularly-successful, philosophies would do a better job?

    July 5, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. what stimulus?

    it isn't working.

    July 5, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  6. M Paul

    You have been complaining about president Obama before he became president. Tell me if spending $12B/mo in Irak since 2003 is YOUR INVESTMENT? Remember, beside the $12B for Irak, you need to spend more money for Afghanistan, "friendly" Arabic countries like Egypt, Jourdan, Yemen, Qatar... How are we paying for the war of choice? Spending $124B per year to contain 20 millions people while we can't spend $35B for our children insurance,,,, it is "real patriotic"...

    July 5, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. Tom

    Welcome to the Obama depression! The economy was much better under Bush, and it's time for the media to truthful about that. Things turned sour when it started looking like the socialist Obama might get elected and trash the economy, which is exactly what he has done.

    It's time for liberals to admit their philosophy and president are an abject failure. The Bush administration created real jobs in the private sector and the highest home ownership rate ever. The Obama administration has created nothing but government waste and a nation of foreclosures as people lose their jobs. These are the facts and they are undeniable.

    Obama, who is not even truly a US citizen (he has no official birth certificate) needs to be impeached now!

    July 5, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. mlk

    You Obamabots need to wake up and understand basic economics. First of all, you can't redistribute the wealth and expect small businesses to take the tax burden and continue to hire. Number two, Obama's love for the unions is bringing this country down faster than anything. I'll give you an example. I had equipment removed from a factory, my quote from union labor was $28,000. My quote for the same job from non union labor was $3,500. See the point. If you want to buy from Walmart you better think twice. They buy from China, Why?
    Non union cheap labor. You can't compete with the union in any marketplace unless you pay through the roof for the products they make!

    July 5, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  9. Joe six pack

    Bunch of whiners. Most of the stimulus money haven't gone out yet less thru the economy. When it does millions of jobs will be created. It's innevitable.

    July 5, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  10. George

    Boehner always says what won't work, but nothing about what will work.
    Change our trade laws and bring some jobs home. Stop all trade with Honduras now. Make Wall Street honest again. Fair trade is fine, but our trade laws are totally ignored. Enforce what laws we have now, then re-think trade in general.

    July 5, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  11. fireplug

    I'm 63 and I remember politics as both parties trying to better the US.....now after the last 16 years of first Clinton hating and then Bush hating, US citizens are just prone to attack, hate and detest the other party's members.

    no way to pull out of what the past two, yes I blame our current mess on both Clinton (NAFTA and giving our technology to the Chinese) and Bush (basically unregulated greed allowed by corporations).........

    so, let's all stop spewing hatred toward the architects of the last 16 years here in our great country, pull together and let's work to get this mess straightened out for our children and grandchildren.

    July 5, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  12. Don

    Just answer one question – WHERE ARE THE JOBS. This stimulus package is the SCAM of the Century. This is worse than Madoff.

    July 5, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. JRS

    People on this blog should get their facts straight. The economic mess began under Clinton; with his Budget Advisor Barney Frank named by CNN as one of the top 10 culprits for this mess.

    Bush with Greenspan perpetuated the mess. And now Obama is making it worse with his zany ideas and flip flopping on his promises, as many expected would happen. Jobs and deficit are getting significantly worse. Obama tried to cany coat everything in order to get the votes; while McCain as telling it as it is., being straight with the people.

    July 5, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. The Real Issue

    Congressman Boehner needs to stop. He is always talking and saying nothing. He said nothing when former President Bush had a failed and flawed stimulus plan and nothing happened. He said nothing when Bush had 8 years of failed economic growth!!!

    July 5, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  15. girlsouth

    Are there any OBJECTIVE minds out there anymore?
    Everyone is just looking for a door to crack to criticize a political opponent.
    The economy is not great, but the outlook is better than it was 6 months ago.
    And GWB is NOT completely responsible for the recession!
    He was twice elected, people turned their heads when he embarked on war #2, and we all need to take a little responsibility for ourselves!

    If you dont like the decisions your leaders are making then EDUCATE yourself.
    It would not have taken a high school diploma in middle east politics to have known Operation Iraqi Freedom was a huge blunder...

    July 5, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  16. jonnierae

    Well, the House and Senate drafted the bill, negotiated it down to suit the republicans, so unless they didn't read the bill, I guess they should know what the bill provided for and when. They are willing to blame President Obama for the watered down result, which was called by Krugman, "about right" in terms of amount of money, but flawed in other respects. That is what happens when you negotiate with the repubs, who put more tax cuts in it. Dems, take a lesson, on healthcare and energy, boycott republican influence.

    July 5, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  17. Jeff in WV

    The stimulus plan was suppose to create some jobs through construction on the country's infrastructure, such as roads. During a recent trip, I saw several signs that indicated various construction projects were being funded by the stimulus plan. That may be a good thing. However, the vast majority of these jobs are temporary.

    In addition, the official unemployment rate is now at 9.5 percent. However, I have been told that number does not count the numerous people who are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. So the actual rate is probably much higher.

    July 5, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. Stephanie

    Republicans are always giving Regan for the fall of the Berlin Wall. It did fall 2 and a half years after he said it!

    Now let's give President Obama 2.5 years after he said he would improve the economy!

    July 5, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  19. Like DUHH!!

    These are very complicated problems we are dealing with. They will not be fixed overnight! Republicans are so small minded. It will take a couple of years to see the benefits not four months-geesh!! And what are the whiners doing to help out? I took my tax cut and invested it which is what people should be doing!!

    July 5, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  20. norman

    The dems are totally mismanaging the economy. That stimulus bill is a joke. It is more a political payback than REAL stimulus. They spent 7% of 797 billion dollars or 55 billion already and it has done NOTHING. We are already winning the issue. Obama is already in negative territory and Republicans are more trusted than dems on handling the economy.

    July 5, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  21. jeff

    Yes, Bush did run up the deficit to over $600 billion, but in 6 months, the president has raised it to almost 2 trillion. Spending will not help, restraint of spending from congress down to the consumer needs to be held within their means!! Not homes for everyone!!

    July 5, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  22. mike mike

    the president is just too smart for all you hot-heads ... mr. obama knew from the get go that the markets thrive on perception as much they thrive on facts and figures. dangling the $787B carrot was intended to create jobs of course, but more to build confidence that things were being stabilized. in 2 months when the markets regain full confidence, mr. obama would have spent a mere 15% of the $787B ... he will put the remaining 85% back into the coffers and have the repubs and other naysayers running on empty!!

    July 5, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  23. Richard Austin

    To be a Republican is to be one of the most frightened people on the face of the Earth.

    July 5, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  24. w.l. jones

    Economic is ninty percent mental and ten percent reality. So long people continue to believe the economy will get better it will because they will buy and sell goods.

    July 5, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  25. David

    Watch the pendulum swing. Republicans had majority control and we have one set of problems. Now Democrats have majority control and we can see a whole different set of problems coming up the pike.

    Sounds to me like none of those jokers have any meaningful answers.

    If I had employees that behaved like our Congressmen do all but perhaps a dozen and a half of them would be bounced out on their backsides looking for new jobs.

    We keep re-electing these jokers, they lie, cheat, steal and fail, and then we reward them by re-electing them again. Until we fire these incompetents we will have this pendulum swinging...between Republican-caused problems and Democrat-caused problems....and all GOVERNMENT-caused problems.

    July 5, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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