Our Republican delegation is only too content to sit back and be naysayers, especially in the likely event the $838 billion stimulus bill, which passed the Senate earlier today, does not produce desired results. Re-election is never far from their minds, and they can easily rub "I told you so," in our faces when the time comes.
So, today, Sen. Bob Bennett just said no:
“If Democratic leadership and the president had only been willing to take a little more time and examine the details with more careful scrutiny, we could have produced a bill that would achieve great results without creating long term risks. The economy is desperately in need of careful government action, but this bill does not meet that standard.”Orrin Hatch is similarly frothing at the mouth about the "The Raw Deal," as he calls the bill:
“It is hard to feel good about such a bad bill. Rather than work together to craft a bipartisan bill that would actually stimulate the economy, as our new president promised, Democrats have ramrodded through the Senate an unbalanced spending bill tinged with far too few effective stimulative provisions.”All this talk about Democrats being unwilling to work with them suggests to me they were likely in the throes of loading up the bill with their various pork. When told to get their hands out of the cookie jar, they took their toys and went home.
At least Rep. Jim Matheson had the decency to vote with his fellow Democrats, though I'm sure perspiration dripped from his forehead and his finger shook as he pressed the "yea" button, all while visions of his Republican fan club coming after him with pitchforks danced in his head. His buyer's remorse bubbles up in his newsletter:
I voted for the US House's version of the economic recovery package because I feel strongly that efforts to create jobs and cut taxes for thousands of Utahns are the highest priority. There is no easy or guaranteed way to address the severe stress facing our economy. Inaction will make the situation worse. Options must be on the table to lessen the duration of this slump for Utahns. ... I do not agree with all the proposed spending, some of which has already been eliminated. There is no such thing as a perfect answer to this crisis, but on balance it is important that Congress move the process forward.Then, as in a previous newsletter, Matheson goes on to ask constituents to help solve the crisis, with a series of "duh" questions:
Are infrastructure projects an appropriate way to save jobs and create jobs? Will cutting taxes for small business and for individuals and couples who earn less than $75,000 (individuals) and $150,000 (couples) help your family budget? Do you fear you will lose your job in the next 12 months? What else should Congress be considering as it tries to help the economy recover?Sadly, there is a dearth of good ideas from Our Men in D.C. They relish the opportunity to shoot holes in Obama's proposals but seem oddly clueless when it comes to inspired thinking of their own. Republicans will let Obama be the fall guy for the shit sandwich he inherited, even though it was Republicans asleep at the switch that allowed the economy tank in the first place. So hey, D.C. dudes, if you know better how to fix things, tell us, already. (Jerre Wroble)