House Republicans scored a significant victory Wednesday evening in losing the vote that passed the Democrats’ big spending faux-stimulus package. In the tally, 244-188, not only did all Republicans vote against the package, they managed to peel off eleven Democrats to vote “nay” with them.
The eleven Democrats voting against the bill were Allen Boyd (D-Fl); Bobby Bright (D-Al); Jim Cooper (D-Tenn); Brad Ellsworth (D-In); Parker Griffith (D-Al); Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa); Frank Kratovil (D-Md); Walt Minnick (D-Id); Collin Peterson (D-Min); Heath Shuler (D-NC); and Gene Taylor (D-Miss).
Republicans were entirely frustrated by Speaker Pelosi in their efforts to get debate and vote on the amendments they offered. (More than 200 were filed with the Rules Committee and only about a dozen — which included Democrats’ amendments — were allowed.)
President Obama did charm the Republicans in their meetings with him Wednesday, but the hyperpartisanship by which Pelosi rules the House overwhelmed any good will the president may have created.
The bill now goes to the Senate, which will pass it next week. If President Obama wants any Republican cooperation, he’ll have to twist a lot of arms in the Senate to allow it. Actually, Harry Reid only has the only two that need twisting, but they’ll have to be twisted very hard.
Congratulations should go to the Republican House leaders and members of the Republican Study Committee who helped whip the votes. Maybe Speaker Pelosi should look at how far she can drive the “Blue Dog” Dems: some of them, at least, may not be lapdogs any longer.