It never ceases to amaze me the arrogance of politicians when they forget that they are mearly humble servents, sent to serve the people. God bless our elected officials who are holding firm and continuing to battle for the preservation of our nation and future generations. Though they may not always get it right and we do not always agree with their decisions, they are proving that the precious trust we placed in them is not all lost.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans bickered Saturday over his economic recovery plan after states and schools lost billions of dollars in a late-night bargain to save it.
The $827 billion measure is likely to pass next week despite stiff opposition from the GOP and disappointment among Democrats, including the new president who labeled it imperfect.
“We can’t afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary,” President Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, sounding a note of pragmatism that liberal followers rarely heard on the campaign trail.
Still, the popular president — six in 10 voters approve of his performance so far — scolded Republicans with a pointed reminder that Democrats, not Republicans, were victorious in November.
Hours later, the Senate convened a rare Saturday session to debate a compromise forged between GOP moderates and the White House late Friday, a rare burst of comity aimed at securing passage of the bill with a few Republican votes joining the Democratic majority.
The compromise stripped $108 billion in spending from President Obama’s plan, including some destined for projects that likely would give the economy a quick lift. Yet it retained items that probably won’t help the economy much at all.
Among the most controversial cuts was the elimination of $40 billion in aid to states, money that economists say is a relatively efficient way to pump up the economy by preventing layoffs, cuts in services or tax increases.
Negotiators left in the package $70 billion to address the alternative minimum tax to make sure families wouldn’t be socked with unexpected tax increases averaging $2,300 or so. The problem was going to be fixed later in the year anyway, and congressional economists say fixing the AMT problem helps the economy by surprising little.
While publicly supportive of the bill, White House officials and top Democrats said they were disappointed that so much money was cut, including almost $20 billion for construction and repair of schools and university facilities. Those funds would have supported many construction jobs.
The $827 billion package debated in the Senate on Saturday included President Obama’s signature tax cut of up to $1,000 for working couples. Also included is a tax credit of up to $15,000 for homebuyers and smaller breaks for people buying new cars. Much of the new spending would be for victims of the recession, in the form of unemployment compensation, health care and food stamps.
“In the midst of our greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people were hoping that Congress would begin to confront the great challenges we face,” President Obama said in the address, released before he made his first trip to Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains.
“That was, after all, what last November’s election was all about,” he said.
Republicans characterized President Obama’s rhetoric as arrogant.
“Democrats have controlled both branches of government for less than a month. And you have to wonder if all that power has gone to their heads,” Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said in the GOP’s weekly address. “For the last two weeks, they’ve been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.”
President Obama made an aggressive push for House and Senate lawmakers to work quickly to resolve their differences. The White House plans a major public relations blitz: A prime-time news conference Monday, several trips outside Washington next week and an address to a joint session of Congress later this month.
He had hoped to sign economic legislation on his first day in office, but instead he has spent his first three weeks in office wrangling with a reluctant Congress, including fellow Democrats.
After weeks of losing a public-relations fight with Republicans, President Obama’s aides considered any forward movement of President Obama’s legislation a victory toward fixing the economic crisis that has left 3.6 million Americans without jobs.
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican’s No. 2 in the Senate, criticized Obama as misrepresenting Republicans’ concerns and accused the president of using “dangerous words” in describing the emergency.
“This is still a very big spending bill,” Sen. Kyl said on the Senate floor as an afternoon session got under way. “You can’t fix it by simply shaving a little bit off.”
The Senate headed toward a vote early in the week. If, as expected, the bill passes lawmakers will need to resolve the differences between the Senate and House bills before sending a final package to President Obama.
Copyright © 2009 Associated Press
First let us take a look back to past wisdom of what could happen if government gets too big…
Now fast forward to today. There are 8 key points in this US Senate debate session that are key to understanding the difference between Capitalism which our founding fathers build this great nation on and what liberal socialists want to do, to further hinder it so that government may reap more control over our personal lives…
start 1:14:17, then jump to Sen. Graham 2:03:05, then to Sen Coburn 3:13:55, then Sen Schumer for a good look at what socialism is 3:49:00, then Sen Wicker & Sen Inhofe 3:52:45, then Sen Thune 6:12:20 and 8:51:37, then Sen Coburn really hits on the specifics of the ramped wasteful spending in the stimulus bill 9:52:10
2 Peter 2: 2-3 ~ Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.