The House of Representatives is poised to approve an $825 billion
stimulus measure sought by President Barack Obama to help spur a
recovery in the U.S economy. Most House Republicans are expected to
vote against the bill saying it contains wasteful spending, while
Democrats are mostly united in support of the measure.
President Obama's visit Tuesday to the Capitol, House Republicans are
following the line of their leadership in opposing the legislation.
In floor debate, Democratic House Appropriations Chairman David Obey urged lawmakers to support the president on the measure.
time for talk is over, we need to make decisions, and right now like it
or not, the only comprehensive package before us, the only balanced
package before us, is the one being brought to us in this bill today,"
Republicans used the same arguments they made before
their meeting with the president, asserting the measure will not
deliver sufficient tax cuts and enough targeted spending quickly enough
to help the economy.
Indiana Republican Mike Pence accused Democrats of ignoring President Obama's call for bipartisanship.
promises of change and bipartisanship ring hollow in the face of a
stimulus bill that does little more than fund a wish list of
longstanding liberal spending priorities," said Pence.
Democrat George Miller accused Republicans of trying to extend what he
called failed economic policies of the Bush administration.
friends on the other side of the aisle ask us just for one last time to
do what they have been doing the last eight years, to just one more
time give the tax cuts to the richest people in the country, to just
one more time dive into the tank on fiscal irresponsibility," he said.
at the White House with business leaders before the House vote,
President Obama expressed confidence the bill will pass, saying
Americans are counting on bold and swift action at a perilous moment.
substantial House majority virtually assures passage, although
President Obama hoped a final vote will reflect more than just a party
The $825 billion measure, a version of which will
also be considered in the Senate, is a combination of spending on
numerous domestic programs and tax cuts.
In additional floor
debate, Republicans such as Wally Herger of California pointed to
government figures indicating more limited short-term impact on the
economy from the measure, while New Hampshire Democrat Carol Shea
Porter referred to American's economic hardships and urged a yes vote
on the bill:
HERGER: "I cannot support a $825 billion bill that will not fully take effect until 18 months or two years down
the road or even longer."
SHEA-PORTER: "So many American families
are hurting. We must not only acknowledge their pain, we must help
them recover. This package will them recover, this package will help
In an alternative measure Democrats will allow
the House to vote on, Republicans would add additional tax cuts and
small business tax benefits, credits for home buyers, and put lawmakers
on record opposing future tax increases as way of paying for spending.
But it is seen as having little chance of passing, clearing the way for a final vote on the main Democratic measure.
A separate version of the legislation is on the way to consideration in the Senate.
leaders have vowed to get a bill to President Obama for signature by
the middle of next month when Congress has its next scheduled major