General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

How do you feel about the House of Representatives passing a $787 Billion, 1,073 page bill, that most representatives did not receive until 12:30 last night?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9696points) February 13th, 2009

Video: GOP leader tosses stimulus bill on House floor in disgust
David Edwards and Jeremy Gantz
Published: Friday February 13, 2009

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A simple “nay” vote wasn’t enough for Republican Congressman John Boehner this afternoon, as the $787 billion stimulus package headed toward passage: While speaking before C-SPAN cameras, the House leader had to toss all 1,073 pages of the bill onto the august chamber’s floor in disgust.

Holding a massive white stack of paper in his hand, Boehner registered his disdain—shared by every other Republican House member, all of whom voted against the bill—by noting that no one has read it.

“Here I have 1,100 pages not one member of this body has read. Not one. There may be a staffer in the Appropriations Committee that read all of this last night. Not one member’s read this,” Boehner said. “What happened to the promise that we’re going to let the American people see what’s in this bill for 48 hours?”

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37 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Ron Paul 08!!

Seriously. This isn’t a question. You are pushing your agenda.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I find it distressing and unethical the way business is conducted within our government. I know not all of it is poor but there is a plenty of room to be dissatisfied with it.

In the documentary “Unconstitutional – The War On Our Civil Liberties”, it is detailed how the legislation for the ‘Patriot Act’ was presented to Congress with the Bush administration telling them not to hold public hearings on its contents to avoid any public input. It was also presented to Congress in a way in which the members had no adequate time to review its contents before it was passed. Maybe it didn’t matter though because the Patriot Act was passed with overwhelming support and it contained provisions that Congress already voted against prior to the events of 9–11-01.

Many things come to mind – The blind leading the blind. Monkey see, monkey do. Immorality. Fraudulence. Hypocrisy. Dishonesty.

Business as usual in Washington D.C.

timeand_distance's avatar

We’re screwed. :)

DrBill's avatar

Republicans vote with Republicans.

Democrats vote with Democrats.

In Washington DC, it’s politics as usual.

gooch's avatar

It would not make a difference they vote by party, special interest, or kick backs.

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Hindsight would be nice. Fact is no one knows if this stimulus package will be enough or too little, too late, Bush had no trouble getting bailout money from both parties, so I dont see the ideological difference all of a suudden. The Obama administration is banking heavily on this package not only for the sake of our economy , but for their political future,as well. Even if our economy rebounds from the stimulus, it will be a year or so before this money filters on down to the base economy….and our debt will be out of this world. The best we can hope for is that this money will create long=term jobs and consumer confidence.

Maverick's avatar

Infinitely better than when the Republicans passed a $700Billion bill, oh what about 10 weeks ago, that did absolutely nothing but line the pockets of their buddies that created this whole mess in the first place.

Response moderated
Mizuki's avatar

How do you feel about Republicans destroying America?

critter1982's avatar


dalepetrie's avatar

Funny, I didn’t hear Boehner complaining when Republicans pushed the USA Patriot Act through without Democrats getting to read it. But in this case it seems a bit like grandstanding. I mean, they got to read (and reject) a previous version of the bill last week, and really what has happened is they haven’t gotten to read the final version, even though they know that the final version is the same as the version they DID read with a, b and c taken out and x, y and z put in. I mean ’“we didn’t get 48 hours”, c’mon, Congress has been working on this since they opened session on January 6. They know they don’t have the votes to pull the bullshit they’ve been getting away with for years now, and the only thing they CAN do is shit all over Obama’s attempts to create bi-partisanship.

As I see it, Obama and the Democrats in this Congress have practically bent over backwards to be inclusive of Republicans even though they could pretty much ram anything they want right down their throats, which is EXACTLY what the Republicans did to the Dems when Bush was in office and THEY had both houses of Congress. But no, they have stripped billions in funding that would go to education and replaced it with tax cuts for people who don’t even need them just to placate 3 moderate Republicans in the Senate (when one of them crossing over would have been enough). I say Boehner out to shut the fuck up and be happy the Dems don’t tell him to cram it up his ass sideways. Boehner goddamn well knew what was in that bill and he’s trying to make it seem like they were really sincere about wanting to know what was in the bill, when we all know damn well that their alternate proposal was 100% tax cuts and zero spending, which is what has fucked up this country for the last 28 years! He’s a lying sack of shit and I hope he gets a boil on his ass.

galileogirl's avatar

The Republicans seem to think if all else fails go for DRAMA, not even bad community theater, more like 3rd grade pageant theater. How stupid do they think the average American is? They are playing to the minority of knee-jerk, Limbaugh-loving, Fox News fanatics who would believe the sun rises in the west if O’Reilly said so.

THEY delayed the passage of the bill so it comes out at the low point of the news cycle.

No LEGISLATOR reads the bills they vote on in their entirety. That could be half a million pages a year.

THROWING a bill or throwing a tantrum?

Jimmy Carter had it right this week, we don’t have a loyal opposition, we have ROBO-REPUBLICANS.

It is very obvious that the Republican party has put it’s agenda above the wishes of the American people and even the good of the nation.

I remember when things started to go bad in late September and there was a Republican Congressional caucus. The media was stationed outside the meeting room and were asking Representatives what was going on inside. Most wouldn’t say anything but one guy from Texas came out and said that the crisis was just a scare tactic and he didn’t believe what was being said. I wish I had written his name down so we could see what he would say today. No crisis-unemployment doubled in 4 months, large corps closing, almost all investment banks closed, the stock market acting like an overheated yo-yo. How can anyone trust these lockstepped Hooverites?

kevbo's avatar

The fix is in, and the rest is pageantry.

AlaskaTundrea's avatar

One of the jobs of political aides is to divide up stuff like this massive bill into smaller, more easily digested parts and create a summary of what is in it. If Boehner didn’t know what was in it, he has only his own staff or perhaps his own failure to read their reports to blame.

lefteh's avatar

Do you know what a discussion draft is?
Here is an example of a discussion draft of a form of the stimulus bill in mid-January.
To answer your question, I feel pretty good about it. I do not want my representatives and senators reading 1100 page documents full of ceremonial and technical language. They have better things to do. As AlaskaTundrea said, reading the actual bill is not the only way your representatives in Congress can understand and know what is in the bill. Things like discussion drafts are circulated by the office of the chair of the originating committee (In this case, Dave Obey of Wisconsin, the chairman of the House Appropriations committee). These documents include all of the substance of the actual bills without all of the time-consuming ceremonial language, references to other bills, etc. Also, when thinking about the number of pages in a bill, consider that final Congressional bills have about 5–7 words per line.

Compare the above discussion draft to division A of the final bill passed by the Senate, and tell me which you think our representatives should spend their valuable time reading.

Bri_L's avatar

It is Oscar season.

shamroch's avatar

I’m hoping for a fight on the Senate floor, like when Sumner got his ass caned before the Civil War. Boehner better keep a close eye out. Pelosi ain’t no nancy.

lefteh's avatar

I would much rather go man-to-man against Boehner than man-to-woman against Pelosi.

DREW_R's avatar

I believe there were 3 GOP traitors otherwise the GOP could have filibustered the legislation. The 3 I count as cowards and untrue to America as well as all of the dumbacrats that voted for it.

ALL of them should have been sat down in the chamber and made to read it for 3 days.

dalepetrie's avatar

Yes Drew, because we would NEVER want anyone to have his own opinion if it meant voting against party lines. Funny, I remember when I’d see Republicans on TV and they’d have -IR (Independent Republican) behind their names….now days if they show any sort of independence from party orthodoxy, people call them traitors, untrue to America and cowards.

DREW_R's avatar

@dalepetrie No problems except with the liberals and the Conservatives raping the Constitution here. The stimulus is a mega rip off that our great great grandchildren will be paying for and not giving the Dumbacrats and repubfukupians a chance to read the thing and make an intelligent decision. Piss on party lines.

dalepetrie's avatar

I think there’s a fundamental disagreement in economic theory here. The entire history of our economy is a story of larger spending (usually because of wars), incurring debt, and paying it off by changes to the tax structure, then the government spending helps stimulate the economy, millions more people work, taxes go down, debt gets paid off. I believe if the government spends money in targeted way (even if they have to borrow it), people will start working again, banks will start lending again, we will enjoy greater prosperity, we’ll be able to pay off this debt and a lot fewer people will have to suffer. Spending stimulates the economy….I don’t think you have to be a traitor to understand this fundamental economic law, regardless of party or lack thereof. But you don’t have to agree, I just wouldn’t say out of one side of my mouth that they’re traitors for going against party orthodoxy and then claim that you don’t care about party.

DREW_R's avatar

@dalepetrie I was refering to any and all thet passed the Bill without reading it and Obama as traitors. Not just the 3 GOP. Dang, I worded it wrong up there. Sorry.

dalepetrie's avatar

No problem. But again, it’s politics. Same thing happened with the USA Patriot Act, and that was the R doing it to the D. Essentially, it’s not as if Congress is acting outside its authority by doing things like this…yes it’s not good governance, but such is the system we have, and they are living within it. Just look at the so-called “nuclear option”, when Bush II was Pres and there was a R majority in the Senate, and the Dems threatened to fillibuster, the Senate said they would adopt an allowed procedural change that would allow the bill to pass with a simple majority….and you know what…that really sucks, when either side does it (the Dems have threatened it now), because it’s antithetical to our system of checks and balances which is meant to keep any one party or agenda from gaining too much pull, and yet, somehow we managed to have the executive, legislative and judicial branches all under one party’s control, and the only way the minority voice was represented was by the Senate’s option to filibuster, and yet the majority sought to strip even that one sole protection away from the minority party. That seems treasonous to me, but yet it’s allowed, so I was not so much mad at the Senators who threatened this option as I was teh boneheads who set this option into law in the first place. I think the system was broken when Republicans tried to shut out Dems and I think the system is broken now that Dems have tried to shut out Republicans. And I think it sucks that our system is designed so that two parties can effectively rule everything without any other voices.

But then, I have hope that it’s really not all that bad. Because look at the change from 2006 to 2008….in 2006, Republicans controlled everything, and anything Bush wanted, if he couldnt’ get it through Congress, he’d get it through signing statement. 2 years later, Dems are probably one vote away form a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, they have a huge majority in the House, they have the White House, and they’re one justice away from having the Judicial branch as well. The pendulum swings and with a 4 year term and a 2 term limit, nothing is ever permanent. And even though we still have the same politics happening, it could be argued that both the Democrats and Republicans in 2009 are completely different parties than they were even in 2006. The Dems have moved to the left, and Republicans have become more Libertarian and less about social issues. So, in a way, even though it’s a 2 party system, it’s not as if two trains of thought have a permanent stranglehold on our Democracy. Remember the Republicans were the party of Lincoln, and they were the ones who originally fought for equality and civil rights…today they’re the party that sings Barack the Magic Negro at their gatherings (and that’s mild compared to 20, 40 and 60 years ago). I think what it boils down to is that equilibrium in our Democracy boils down to two polar opposite ways of thinking, and almost everyone falls somewhere in between the two, but almost all lean one direction or the other, and no one really knows what the “right” answers are, so some firmly believe in one side, some firmly believe in the other, and everyone else just kinda wings it.

So yeah, I’d love it if our lawmakers didn’t play silly little games, but they do, and the Dems giving the Repubs a huge bill only a few hours before they had to sign it was politics as usual. I mean, realistically, it wasn’t as if they didn’t know the basic content of the bill, and it wasn’t as if there were major changes that they wouldn’t agree with just kind of snuck in (which is exactly what was done when the situation was reversed with the Patriot Act), so really, throwing a hissy fit by throwing the bill on the floor was every bit as much politics as was how it was submitted, and at least the Dems had a reason (time is very much a factor in this stimulus) to want to expedite things (and I suppose the Repubs figured that national security was threatened in the same way Dems think the economy is threatened to make and apples to apples comparison).

Bottom line, I think this was business as usual, and I wouldn’t call anyone a traitor because of it, either a traitor to their party or worse, to their country.

DREW_R's avatar

@dalepetrie That is the only reason that I voted McCain and Palin. Balance. There has been no balance since the Clinton admin and it has sucked worse than ever.

dalepetrie's avatar

I can dig that, though I don’t personally vote strategically/tactically. I vote for the person whom I think best represents my views, and for me that was Obama hands down. Most All political candidates I’ve had the opportunity to vote for in my life have been the best representation of my views of all viable choices, that usually (but not always) means the Dem, not because I consider myself a Democrat, but because my views on social and economic policy are liberal/progressive, which of the two major parties, finds more of a home with Dems than Republicans. Essentially, this election cycle, Obama ran on a platform that I myself would have run on almost down to the last detail/issue…no other candidate has ever come as close to my personal beliefs as did Obama. And both McCain and Palin held philosophies which to me were downright offensive. So even if I felt it was important to have balance (I don’t necessarily because I think politics are like a pendulum and if things swing too far one direction, it will self correct before you know it), I couldn’t have voted against the first person I truly WANTED to vote for, and for a candidate who shared almost zero of my opinions and values. But there’s no wrong way to vote or to think. I’d just say, expect that Dems will try to push through their agenda while they are in power, expect them to eventually overstip and for the pendulum to swing back too far in the other direction, and then to have Republicans overstep again. But as long as what they do is legal, I’m not going to second guess it. Now if either side does something illegal, then I’d agree wholeheartedly with your original assessment!

DREW_R's avatar

@dalepetrie We feel the same about McCain anyway. If we would have had a good shot at a GOP Congress I would have voted for Obama. Not because of his beliefs but again balance. I can take some of what Obama wants. Just not the sociaist stuff, health care, his stance on the 2nd Amendment, his stimulus package and spending, his middle stand on the Middle East and some other stuff. But I do feel he will make a better pres than McCain or palin just needed some balance.

galileogirl's avatar

@DREW_R The problem with balance is that when one party will not compromise, nothing will be accomplished. That’s why you can’t vote for balance alone. It is very probable that if there was a Republican majority in Congress, there would no compromise from the party of no.

DREW_R's avatar

@galileogirl I don’t see it like that. Clinton did pretty good with a GOP for the most part. ;)

dalepetrie's avatar

And it seems to me that even though he doesn’t HAVE to compromise with Republicans, Obama is bending over backwards to do it.

DREW_R's avatar

@dalepetrie That might be because he sees a possiblity of the mid-terms making Congress GOP again.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’d believe it was all about midterms if I hadn’t researched Obama’s background (well before anyone thought he could win, I KNEW he would). Basically, that’s his MO, he’s a dealmaker, he’s someone who believes in hearing all the voices and making an informed decision, which was one of the main reasons I supported his campaign.

DREW_R's avatar

@dalepetrie I may be seeing shadows where there are none but I personally don’t feel it will make any difference any longer, though I shall continue to vote. The puppet masters won’t let any “leaders” do what is actually needed for our country.

dalepetrie's avatar

I guess I was feeling that way after Bush stole the 2000 election, and again when he brought out the religious whack job vote in 2004, but I honestly have to say, Obama was the candidate I never thought we’d get. I harbored this crazy idea my whole life that come 2008 (I picked that year because it was the first Presidential election year in which I would be over 35), maybe I’d run for President, of course as I got older I realized two things…one, my ideas are simply too liberal for most of America to swallow, and two…you need to very wealthy and well connected to do that. And Obama was kind of a lesson to me…ideologically we agree about 99% of the time, so I guess my ideas maybe wouldn’t have seemed too crazy for America, and two, he came from nothing, he came from less than I did, AND had to overcome the race barrier, yet he made it because he is both a man of conviction, and able to articulate his vision. So, the point is, now it’s not as if I’m going to uproot my life and do what is necessary to become President some day, but I don’t HAVE to. Just the fact that we could elect someone as liberal as Obama is good enough for me.

As for balance, I think that ideally we would have balance all the time, but I take the view that after 8 years of thinking that was in my opinion 100% the wrong direction, we need to make a complete 180…in other words, just to achieve balance, first we have to tip the scales way in the other direction until we attain equilibrium. The danger as I see it is keeping those scales tipped too far the other way for too long, because payback’s a bitch, and whether it be 4, 8, 12 or 16 years down the road, eventually constant overreaching in one direction is going to cause the whole shebang to go way too far in the other direction.

So, I like Obama and how he approaches it…he is pushing forth a VERY progressive agenda, but he is doing his level best not to shut out the minority opinion and to be conciliatory. I think if he does this, we can reach that equilibrium we need and restore a democracy that is not controlled by puppet masters. And finally, I think that’s what this last election really boiled down to…the puppet masters had the 2008 President figured out the day Kerry lost in 2004….Hillary. It was clear as far back as 2000 that she would get some Senate experience under her belt and throw her hat in the ring herself. Because what you have are strong entrenched forces on the right who installed Bush and Co, and just as strong, but less entrenched (after the last 8 years) forces on the left who were bound and determined (but perhaps not devious enough) to install Clinton II the way Bush II was installed. And instead we had a person some along who was not part of this machine, he threw a monkey wrench into the works, and once the right realized they weren’t going to have to go after the person they’d been planning on going after for 4 years, they lost their focus and the whole house of cards came tumbling down. So, I’m very optimistic that Obama will be a President who actually does what he thinks is right, and not what the puppet masters force him to do.

But time will tell…

DREW_R's avatar

@dalepetrie If he will leave the Constitution alone I could follow him. I mean the whole thing. Bush left the 2nd alone but screwed with the rest. Thus lost alot of people. Obama is treading a thin line. He might not mess with the only Amendment not touched upon by Bush on his own but the dem lackies will so he won’t have to. I kind a hope they do because then we might get a GOP Congress with Obama as pres, for at least 2 yrs anyway. That would be the best combination as far as I can tell. Then there will be checks and balances restored, except of course in the Supreme Court. It will be liberal leaning soon. Why can’t we get some centerists in office?

lefteh's avatar

Because centerists don’t exist. In English-speaking countries, anyway.

dalepetrie's avatar

My prediction…he won’t screw with the Constitution, but he will lead in a fashion that takes into account minority opinions, and he will use his influence to keep Congress from pushing too hard so as to alienate the right. This will lead to 20–30 years of Dems being mostly in control, while the Repubs try to figure out how to rebuild their party. I could be wrong.

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