Yesterday the Senate passed it’s version of the Economic Stimulus bill. The passage came after over a week of debate, and a great deal of arm-twisting. Now the measure goes to a conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions. While passage in the Senate is a positive step, the differences are great enough that the measure could, once again, be held up in the Senate, depending on what happens in Conference.
Both versions of the bill have been opposed by the majority of Republicans in Congress, as well as 12 Democrats in the House. Republican objections to the bill focus primarily on what they call “pork barrel” spending in the bill. Assertions by Republican members that spending is not stimulus, is like saying government employment is not a job, a bizarre notion that has been pushed by newly elected RNC Chair Michael Steele.
Republicans seem to have adopted a “do nothing” strategy for Economic Recovery. They are opposing limits on bailed out CEO pay, and have worked to push tax cuts for the wealthy over the middle class tax cuts included in the current stimulus package.
While there has been a lot of polling, using several methods and questioning techniques, Americans support the stimulus bill by a narrow majority in just about every poll. Further, a Gallup poll released yesterday shows that the majority of Americans not only favor the President’s approach, but also disapprove of the way the Republicans have conducted themselves in the debate (a href= http://www.gallup.com/poll/114202/Obama-Upper-Hand-Stimulus-Fight.aspx>Source).
Americans are starting to realize that Republican “Do nothing” and obstructionist tactics are a thinly veiled act of aggression that follows the, “I hope he fails”, Limbaugh Doctrine.
Republicans are playing a dangerous game of chicken with the American economy, and the futures of average Americans. By holding firm to the arguments that have worked in the past, though not the recent past, Republicans have chosen a fantasy over the reality that we are here, in large part due to the VERY POLICIES that Republicans claim are the prescription for our troubles.