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Tentative Deal on Stimulus   February 7th, 2009
Compromise is "only" $780 billion instead of $937 billion       

 
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It was pretty much inevitable, it seems, but a few Republican senators have sacrificed their conservative ideals in order to reach a compromise with the Democrats on the stimulus package. So instead of an overwhelming $937 billion package, now we can breathe a sigh of relief that it's going to be an easy-to-swallow $780 billion.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/06/stimulus/index.html

(from CNN headline, this text not currently found in article): A group of Democratic and Republican senators reached a tentative agreement on Friday night for a roughly $780 billion economic stimulus package. As debate continued into the evening, Democratic leaders hailed the compromise, which trimmed the nearly $900 billion Senate bill, and credited the role played by GOP Sens. Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter.


So Senator Susan Collins (Maine) and Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania) and possibly Olympia Snowe (also of Maine) have given victory to the Democrats. And, like in September, a few Republicans are going to give the Democrats what they want even when it's against Republican ideology, against what's right for the country, and against what the American public wants.

And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is already warning that she plans on putting back in some of the cuts that lead to the deal: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is already warning, if the Senate bill passes, she'll fight to put education back in when the two conflicting bills merge in conference." What's the benefit of a "deal"--even a bad one--when the other side is already threatening to roll back the things that were agreed to?

Even Vice President Biden admitted, "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong... But when we do [approve it], I'm sure you're going to be nailed in ads, 'Well they voted on that' 30 second ads". The Democrats know the public doesn't want this... they know they're going to get "nailed..." And he's admitted there's a pretty good chance "they'll get it wrong." And yet, somehow, we have Republican senators that were convinced to vote for this monstrosity?

If this deal goes down--apparently on Tuesday--I know I'll be keeping an eye on the Republican senators responsible for it. I don't live in Pennsylvania or Maine, but I'll be contributing to the campaign of any challengers that they may face in their primaries. It's time the Republican party be made of conservatives that are more interested in doing what's right than what's popular in Washington, and voting their ideology and not that of the Democrats.

In the meantime, keep writing and calling these senators right up until the vote:

    Senator Susan Collins (Maine): 202-224-2523 | Email

    Senator Olympia Snowe (Maine): 202-224-5344 | Email

    Senator Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania): 202-224-4254 | Email

You might mention that you'll be contributing to the campaign of their primary challengers if they support the compromise legislation when it comes to a vote. This is especially important since at least Senators Collins has indicated she might still vote against the plan depending on how it comes out of committee:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/02/07/gop-senators-risk-political-backlash-support-stimulus

Collins didn't rule out the possibility of changing her mind after Senate and House negotiators work out the differences between the bills approved by the two bodies.

"It's important we get this bill to the president's desk as soon as possible," she told FOX News. "But if the bill that comes back to the Senate from the conference committee is once again bloated with wasteful spending and it's too expensive, then I'll vote against it."


Republicans have sufficient votes in the Senate to ensure that any stimulus bill meets our requirements. With a unified Republican front, President Obama and the Democrats would be in no position to negotiate--they could either accept the Republican stimulus package or settle for nothing. That these three Republicans are spinning a $150 billion reduction as some kind of victory or worthy compromise ignores the fact that Republicans are holding all the cards here.

How can we Republicans ever hope for victory when there are those amongst us that are intent on giving it away?


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