House Republicans see Obama as sincere, just misguided

January 30, 2009

OBAMA/WASHINGTON – Republicans in the House of Representatives say they appreciate Democratic President Barack Obama’s efforts to win their support for the economic stimulus bill, which is now approaching $900 billion. But they have made it clear that the partisan divide remains extremely hard to bridge.

“He’s sincere. I think he’s passionate,” Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, said on Thursday at a retreat for House Republicans at the Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.

“When he spoke to House Republicans, it was clear to me his sincerity and passion about the level of debt,” he said. “Clearly, we disagree on the economic stimulus effect of the government spending.”

Obama met with the House Republicans on Tuesday but failed to win a single vote from them on House passage of the stimulus plan the next day. With the fight over the legislation now focused on the Senate, Republicans have insisted on a greater emphasis on tax cuts and less on federal spending to reverse the deepening recession.

The House Republican plan includes cutting the lowest income tax rates, expanding tax breaks and incentives to small businesses and eliminating most of the spending House Democrats have put forward.

“It seems to me it’s more either  ideological, or it’s just power politics in Congress and spending money on pent-up constituencies that haven’t had a ton of spending for a long time,” said Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican.

Ryan, who is the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, said that while a bipartisan deal on the stimulus package is probably elusive, Obama “did a good job of laying the groundwork for the future collaboration on other projects by coming to us.”

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– Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (House and Senate Republican leaders speak to reporters after meeting Obama at the White House.)


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OK I am sooo confused. Where are these guys coming from? Spending has been out of sight for a long time (specifically the last 8 years). The bailout started under Bush and none of these old boys were complaining then. All of a sudden they are true to their party line. The Republican party has been hy-jacked. They need to stand up and be counted to help solve our countries problems. They do not have the magic solution. ANNNND maybe, Obama does not either. But, at least he is trying. They need to get on board and try along with him. Why is it that Repubs want him to fail?? Why do they want our country to fail??

Posted by Eloise | Report as abusive

Most of these republicans have been in office for the past 8 years, and had their chance and even had control! NOW….they say they have the answers and that Obama is misguided? Hummmmmmm….

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

This is good news. No one party should run their agenda unchallenged through congress. It would result in laws being passed which many, if not most, Americans do not want.

Like it or not, the republicans are doing their job and in the end most Americans will thank them for it. We did not elect the current administration or congress to ram things through congress unfettered. If they were allowed to do that, we would be the losers in the end of it all.

This is good news and I hope the republicans keep the pressure up. They have shown they are open to good proposals, but not what is currently being imposed on the American people.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot. I’ll work tirelessly to convince others not to vote for these idiots who are obviously part of the problem and not the solution. They’ll know by the time there is another election in the House.
They’re toeing Rush Limbaugh’s line for sure. The Lemmings,……

Posted by olddog | Report as abusive

Note to House Republicans- Obama and the Democrats won. You and yours lost. You not only lost, you were thoroughly repudiated.

In other words, you don’t get to do the “leadership” thing anymore. You had your turn, screwed it up like a monkey in a nuclear plant, and now you get to go sit back and let us have our turn. Sure, you can throw hissies and pout and call us socialists. It’s what we’ve come to expect. It’s as predictable as night and day — and as relevant as the Jurassic Period.

I remember when the roles were reversed, particularly after 9/11. Democrats had no leadership role to speak of. In much of his first term, they generally threw their weight behind Bush and his programs in the spirit of national unity. Even the Bush tax cuts passed with some Democratic support. People opposed him, and while they fully expected him to fail — because his policies were predictably doomed to failure — they did not wish for it or hope for it, or talk about it on the radio.

It is not at all surprising that when the shoe is on the other foot, ideology still trumps all for the McConnells and the Boehners of the world. They’d rather see the nation go up in flames than ever admit that Conservatives were wrong.

Of course, it’s clear that Obama and the Democrats will welcome conservative input and ideas, because frankly sometimes they are right. If conservatives want to help get the nation out of this mess, they need to willing and able to offer constructive criticism as the loyal opposition ought. But they won’t be calling the shots or setting the agenda, and they won’t be leading.

Most likely, if they follow the thinking of their favorite talk radio personalities, they’ll just be obstructing. Which, you know, is pretty much what we’ve come to expect. It’s also what dooms them to a downward spiral into complete irrelevance.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

The republicans in office most certainly did win and they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do, provide the opposition. That is good for the country.

Where does it say they should just roll over and give in to Obama and the democratic congress.

There were 11 democrats who voted against the so called stimulus plan in the house, so just remember that. Not even all the democrats are behind Obama. I suspect (not having looked into it) that it was conservative and blue dog democrats who voted against the plan. Good for them, it is a horrible plan filled with pork that will not help the economy in any way.

Unbelievable how the Obama apologists think they have this overwhelming mandate to “change” the country. Well, they don’t have a clear mandate. Remember Obama only won with 52 percent of the vote. That leaves nearly half the country who are less than enamored with him.

This has nothing to do with the last 8 years. It has everything to do with the future of our nation. I, for one, do not want this country to turn into a socialist state. If it takes the republicans sticking together to avoid that catastrophe, then all the power to them.

If you think this isn’t going to hurt Obama in the long run, then think again. This is energizing the conservatives who will definitely be back so our freedoms don’t bit by bit fade away.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

it,s difficult for any one playing “piggy in the middle, between the dems and the press.but there are so many capable of dropping the ball,”butter fingers biden”and “nancy the noodle”when there are players like these in the out field, republicans have to be encouraged.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Oh TC, listen to yourself. When George Bush won in 2004 with a highly questionable and narrow margin, conservatives were calling it a “mandate”. We now know that the margin wasn’t even enough to win.
Obama and the Democratic congressional candidates won with a clear mandate of over 10% across the board, and now you are saying “they don’t have a clear mandate”?

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

After 8 years of unmitigated disaster in every single area of government – financial policy, tax levels, health care, disaster relief, international relations, judiciary appointments, nuclear arms reduction (just to name a calamitous departments), it is clear that the Republican Party has no shame. Why on earth would any thinking person be even politely interested in their policy views given the tragic effect their governance has leveled on this country. I appreciate the courtly manner President Obama has brought to the discussion, but I am sincerely hoping he does not allow these tacticians of despair to influence his policies. We tried in their way, and I am unclear if we will be able to heal the nation from their fraud and moral turpitude.

Posted by Danielle | Report as abusive

danielle,a smoke screen is a technique or method to try and confuse an issue,and to try to elevate obama above the fray,is not working.blago if convicted will be the FIFTH GOVERNOR JAILED FOR CORRUPTION,in obamas neck of the woods all part of the democratic quagmire up there, and to try and deny this fact is pointless ,but it is rampant in democratic print a list of leading democratic politicians under investigation would take to long ,it is alarming.please refrain from trying to get us to swallow this nonsense,it is taking away you credability.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Danielle. Actually, many of the things you call a disaster were actually good policies/laws/appointments. Just naming off a list of what “you” think are disasters doesn’t really add to the discussion. Thank you for your list though.

BTW, when Bush was first in office, he did exactly what Obama is doing now. Bush did court the democrats and had several of them over to the White House just like Obama is having republicans over to the White House. In the end, it didn’t help Bush and in the end it won’t help Obama. The only real difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama speaks more smoothly (like a snake). He is trying to get the republicans to eat the apple.

In reality, Obama is not a “new kind of politician” like he said all through his campaign. So far he has shown he is just the same as every other politician who wins the White House. Bush and Obama are really cut from the same cloth, just on different sides of the isle.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive