Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why the Democrats Want You to Believe We Live In A Democracy


By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night with spending increases and tax cuts at the heart of the young administration's plan to revive a badly ailing economy. The vote was 244-188, with Republicans unanimous in opposition despite Obama's frequent pleas for bipartisan support.

"This recovery plan will save or create more than three million new jobs over the next few years," the president said in a written statement released moments after the House voted. Still later, he welcomed congressional leaders of both parties to the White House for drinks as he continued to lobby for the legislation.

Earlier, Obama declared, "We don't have a moment to spare" 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 could begin as early as Monday on companion measure already taking shape. Democratic leaders have pledged to have legislation ready for Obama's signature by mid-February.

A mere eight days after Inauguration Day, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the events heralded a new era. "The ship of state is difficult to turn," said the California democrat. "But that is what we must do. That is what President Obama called us to do in his inaugural address."

With unemployment at its highest level in a quarter-century, the banking industry wobbling despite the infusion of staggering sums of bailout money and states struggling with budget crises, Democrats said the legislation was desperately needed.

"Another week that we delay is another 100,000 or more people unemployed. I don't think we want that on our consciences," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and one of the leading architects of the legislation.

Republicans said the bill was short on tax cuts and contained too much spending, much of it wasteful, and would fall far short of administration's predictions of job creation.

The party's leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, said the measure "won't create many jobs, but it will create plenty of programs and projects through slow-moving government spending." A GOP alternative, comprised almost entirely of tax cuts, was defeated, 266-170. [MORE]

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What does it all mean?

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