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House passes stimulus package

WASINGTON, D.C. — Minnesota’s blue dog Democrat Collin Peterson joined 10 other dissident Democrats in voting against the $819 billion economic stimulus proposal that easily passed the U.S. House Wednesday evening.  

The 7th District Congressman, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, was not immediately available for comment. He has voted against previous stimulus and bailout measures.

As expected, the bill passed almost completely along partisan lines with no Republican support. On the other side of the aisle, the remaining Minnesota Democrats voted for the bill, promoting its passage with fiery rhetoric during hours of debate on the House floor today.

The measure ultimately passed 244 to 188 with 11 Democrats and 177 Republicans voting against it.

Cynthia Dizikes covers Minnesota’s congressional delegation and reports on issues and developments in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at cdizikes [at] minnpost [dot] com. 

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Karen Schell on 01/28/2009 - 08:01 pm.

    This was a smart move by these Democrats in joining Republicans to go on the record against what will certainly be a major economic disaster. Not only did they do the right thing, they have helped cushion themselves against the massive voter backlash in 2010 and 2012 against Democrats. Here the Republicans are forcing Obama and the Democrats to own the awful circumstances they will create with this dangerous and ill-advised legislation.

  2. Submitted by david granneman on 01/28/2009 - 08:31 pm.


    I came to Washington determined to restore fiscal responsibility and bring Minnesota common sense to the budget process. I worked with Senate leadership to pass a new budget plan that reinstates the pay-as-you-go rules (pay-go), which require that every penny of new spending be accompanied by budget cuts or new revenue. Pay-go delivered budget surpluses and a prosperous economy during the 1990s. By bringing balanced budgets back to Washington I hope to begin paying off the huge debt we have accumulated over the years.


  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 01/28/2009 - 10:18 pm.

    $350 Billion “vanishes” into thin air, and they follow that up with another $.8 Trillion.

    For better or worse, this is now officially the Democrat bailout.

  4. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 01/29/2009 - 12:07 pm.

    Before you decide this is bad policy, read Paul Krugman’s columns. He’s the economist who just won the Nobel Prize in economy, and he’s the only one who consistently makes sense.
    Those voting for this legislation are right. The first and most urgent thing is to get money into the hands of people who will immediately spend it–working people, unemployed people, lower- and middle-class people who really need it. They’ll spend it. They’ll buy things. They’ll begin to create a bigger demand for cars, houses, appliances, clothing.
    We are seeing and experiencing the republican policy of tax breaks for the rich. This economic disaster is the result of those disastrous policies. Do companies put that freed-up tax money to work helping the economy? Nope, they buy other banks, get their own house in order, and give their execs huge bonuses, which amounted to $18.4 billion in 2008 when everything was on a fast downward spiral and while they were laying off thousands of workers.
    Sounds fair to me.

  5. Submitted by Gail O'Hare on 01/29/2009 - 01:42 pm.

    Every morning the papers report more job losses, more bankruptcies and store closings, more grim earnings statements like 3M’s today. Why does anyone think we’re not already in a disaster? I’m scared of this plan, too, but I see no counter plan from the Republicans who object to this package. They’re just hoping Obama will fail (thanks Rush Limbaugh) in anticipation of that massive voter backlash Ms. Shell looks forward to.

    What about the pain we’re suffering RIGHT NOW? Are all the nay-sayers comfortably employed, with no fears for themselves so they’re utterly impervious to the suffering of others? Extending unemployment benefits is not only humane, but puts money immediately into the economy. Aid to states will forestall more layoffs – our Gov is counting on it. If we don’t get Federal aid, he isn’t going to raise taxes to preserve jobs, no matter how many get hurt.

    We must save jobs before they’re eliminated and then create new jobs. The tax cuts for businesses did not create jobs. The money to bail out banks (a plan I’ll remind you was crafted by Sec’y Paulson and Republicans) didn’t lead to more lending but to gross misuse. Bonuses to fat cats and Mr. Thain’s wastebasket make crystal clear just how much we can trust business to use money for the common good.

    If you have concrete proposals, state them. But stop attacking. We are in this fix as a direct result of Republican budgets and policies, aided by Bush’s meat-axe vetoes.

  6. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 01/29/2009 - 08:14 pm.

    What is the Republican answer to all financial ills? Why, tax cuts for the rich, of course. We’ve “enjoyed” that “solution” for the last eight years. “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

  7. Submitted by Karen Schell on 01/29/2009 - 10:07 pm.

    Gail O’Hare says:
    “Why does anyone think we’re not already in a disaster? I’m scared of this plan, too, but I see no counter plan from the Republicans who object to this package.”

    Gail, If you check you will find the Republicans have offered their detailed plan. However Obama and the Democrats have rejected bi-partisanship and have completely cut the Republicans out of the crafting of what everyone, as you note, realizes will be a disaster. Had Obama and the Democrat Party been savvy enough to incorporate the Republican plan into Obama’s things would have been different. But, instead, the Republicans were completely shut out of the planning.

    You are correct to be terrified of the Obama/Democrat plan. It will take a recession and make into a deep depression. And in not allowing any bipartian input, only the Democrats’ fingerprints are to found all over the bill. If they don’t want the blame for the severe damage their awful policies will cause they need to start from scratch and invite the Republicans to help craft a plan that will work. Otherwise they are the obviously – and by their design – the owners of their own plan and the blame can only fall solely at their doorstep.

  8. Submitted by Gail O'Hare on 01/29/2009 - 11:35 pm.

    The Dems insist the Repubs were invited and are whining about being exluded. Can you offer a link and some background on their being excluded? I’ve looked at the RNC and GOP sites and can’t find a plan. Googling just brought up Repub complaints about the Dems. Truly, I’d like to read a reliable source on the plan that hasn’t been considered.

    There are Dem leaders I don’t like – honest 🙂

  9. Submitted by Karen Schell on 01/30/2009 - 06:12 pm.

    Hi Gail –

    I’m not sure how well links work, but you can check the NYT story titled “House Passes Stimulus Plan With No G.O.P. Votes” if the link doesn’t work:

    (Wherein it reports 2 Republican plans that were voted down)

    Or you see “Stimulus Likely to Pass House, but Without Republicans” at Hisoanic Business –

    I think the relevant part there re:your questions would be this snippet:

    “Some Republicans argued they had been excluded from the legislation crafting process. Democrats grumbled that Republicans failed to recognize the results of November’s general election, when the center-left leaning party expanded its majorities in both houses of Congress.

    Opposition Republicans presented their own stimulus plan ahead of the vote Wednesday afternoon, which they said was about half as large, composed primarily of tax cuts and would create 6.2 million jobs according to their own analysis.”

    It’s hard to be too fond of the political class, Gail – Republican, Democratic or other. I’m surprised you could use the term “honest” in the same sentence. 🙂

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