House OKs $819B stimulus bill in win for Obama

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night, filled with new spending and tax cuts at the core of the young adminstration's revival plan for the desperately ailing economy. The vote was 244-188.

"We don't have a moment to spare," Obama declared at the White House as congressional allies hastened to do his bidding in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The vote sent the bill to the Senate, where debate is expected to begin as early as this week on a companion measure already taking shape. Democratic leaders have pledged to have legislation ready for Obama's signature by mid-February.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009

Posted January 29, 2009 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Dilbertnomore wrote:

Looks like Mr. Obama and the Dems own it now. Be interesting to see how patient the American people are when the pathetically little real stimulation in this abortion dribbles forth.

Elections have consequences. This reaction by congressional Republicans is very healthy and may well lead to a better product.

January 29, 10:54 am | [comment link]
2. palagious wrote:

This is the first significant test of his Presidency and will set the tone for his Presidency. 

So far, its a victory for Nancy Pelosi.  If the stimulus is passed without any Republican votes it is actually a loss for Obama politically and will firmly establish that Pelosi and Reid (Dem. Congress), and not Obama that are in charge of the Country. 

It puts Obama in a difficult position of having to threaten to veto Democratic legislation to prove he is as he was advertised “an agent of change” in Washington.  If he goes for the cheap, partisan political win has to live with the repercussions (good or bad) of Congress’ stimulus plan.  It also will establish that he is Pelosi’s and Reid’s Presidential “Sock Puppet” for the next four years.  It will also deeply alienate his adoring, independent constituency if it fails.

All political risk accrues to Obama and none to Pelosi and Reid!

January 29, 1:02 pm | [comment link]
3. Sherri2 wrote:

This is not the stimulus bill Obama described. This is Congress’ political rewards scheme - kill the golden goose and make feather beds for all your friends. It occurs to me that in some respects Obama is in a position like that of Jimmy Carter. He wasn’t supposed to win, he wasn’t the machine’s pick. And the Congress we have, Democrats and Republicans, seem to me almost entirely unprincipled. The dire condition the country is in means nothing to them - or, it appears to mean an opportunity for them and their friends to “get while the getting is good.”

January 29, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
4. Dilbertnomore wrote:

Sadly, the country bought the ethereal concept of that “hope and change” tripe Mr. Obama was peddling to the rubes. They actually fell for it. And Mr. Obama’s slick sale of that snake oil gave the Congressional Democrats a set of coattails to ride to strong majorities in both houses. The good news is that a fuzzy concept of “hope and change” that each could perceive as he or she wished got the Dems in strongly. The bad news is “hope and change” is not a settled political platform the the Dems either and now they are having their own food fight over who is the boss of whom. Meanwhile the rubes in the hustings still have their very thoughts of what “hope and change” means and they are going to be pretty PO’ed over what is being done to deny them the “hope and change” they think they signed up for.

In the apocalyptic words of Rev. Wright, “The chickens are coming home to roost!”

The smartest thing the Dems could do for themselves right now is read and do what this article in today’s WSJ suggests:
Don’t get hung up on the author. Read the words. The Dems are going to need cover to get out of the mess they are making. This could help.

And it will work. At least the tax relief part will work.

January 29, 1:50 pm | [comment link]
5. Jeffersonian wrote:

And, after fleecing us, our kids and grandkids to pay off left-liberal voting blocs, Obama and the rest of the banditti celebrated with cocktails and some yummy wagyu steaks (that’s about $125/lb for you unwashed folk who can’t afford it for yourselves).  Shall we eat cake now?

January 29, 1:57 pm | [comment link]
6. Br. Michael wrote:

“The economic crisis is an opportunity to unify people, if we set aside the politics.”  It will never happen.  The current legislation proves that.

January 29, 2:32 pm | [comment link]
7. Sherri2 wrote:

I disagree, Br. Michael. I think it will just have to get worse before anybody gets serious about making it better. I’m ashamed of our Congress.

January 29, 2:45 pm | [comment link]
8. Katherine wrote:

Sherri2 is right that Obama described a different kind of stimulus bill.  This places him in a precarious position.  I see no evidence that he pushed his own party hard, or at all, to produce something like the bill he talked about.  So he appears at this point not to be the leader of his party; either that, or he wasn’t being straightforward when he talked about the stimulus he was calling for.  Republicans and conservative Democrats are not going to sign on to a bill which is perhaps only 10% the “shovel-ready” stimulus Keynesian economics prescribes.

January 29, 3:49 pm | [comment link]
9. Billy wrote:

Hard to understand how you have a cocktail party at the White House to celebrate the passage of a bill in the House, which only your own party supported, which was not what you allegedly wanted or told the people you wanted, and about which there was no question of its passage.  Looks like celebrating a strawman to me.

January 29, 4:06 pm | [comment link]
10. Dilbertnomore wrote:

Billy, in politics it is not possible to declare a loss. Every outcome, no matter how devastating, will be spun by any proper politician of any stripe as a victory in some sense. Disingenuiness is in their DNA. They can do no other.

Never forget. If a politicians lips are moving, he (or she) is, at the very best, telling you only part of the truth. He (or she) is probably lying, though. Just accept it.

January 29, 9:29 pm | [comment link]
11. elanor wrote:

Rush pointed out today that the only thing bipartisan about this bill was the opposition.

January 29, 10:33 pm | [comment link]
12. libraryjim wrote:

I just saw this quote on another forum. I THINK it is from Grouch Marx:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies…”

January 30, 3:11 pm | [comment link]
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