$787 billion can’t buy an ounce of bipartisanship
WASHINGTON – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were unapologetic on Friday after not a single one of them voted for the $787 billion economic stimulus package.
The Democratic majority pushed the spending and tax cuts measure through the House 246-183 at the urging of Democratic President Barack Obama, who had courted Republican support.
Republican leaders insisted the plan may do more harm than good by expanding government and not doing enough to create private-sector jobs.
Representative Virginia Foxx went further. “I think it’s a cruel hoax on the American people that they have been led to believe that by passing this bill that there are suddenly going to be millions of jobs out there, particularly for blue collar workers that have lost their jobs,” she said.
Through weeks of debate, the two parties stuck to their ideologies, with Republicans favoring tax cuts and Democrats leaning toward government spending.
Republicans may be hoping their lock-step opposition will help vault them back into majority status in the House. They look longingly back to 1993, when every House Republican voted against a balanced-budget plan by then-President Bill Clinton that accomplished its goal.
Nonetheless, Republicans took control of the House in 1994 elections.
Asked whether Republicans risked looking bad if the U.S. economy does recover in the near term, House Republican Leader John Boehner said: “I think standing on principle and doing the right things for the right reasons on behalf of your constituents will never get you in trouble.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Boehner holds a copy of the stimulus bill, following the passage in the House of Representatives of the stimulus package)