The Democrat-led Senate Finance Committee is going through the pretense of a markup on their version of the $1.1 trillion sham stimulus bill passed by the House on Wednesday evening. Props to every single House Republican who — to the last man and woman — stood against socialism in voting against the mother of all spending bills. Now the bill’s fate rests in the hands of the RINO-infested Senate, where hopes of Republican unity in defense of the country from this socialist onslaught is a lot less likely.
The usual suspects include Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, the RINO bookends from Maine who each supported elements of the bill earlier this week.
From a Tuesday press release on Snowe’s website, “Today, U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, will vote to advance the tax portion of the economic stimulus package which is designed to create jobs and reverse the nation’s worst economic downturn since World War II .” I suppose Sen. Snowe somehow missed the Jimmy Carter years of the misery index and the double-digit inflation, unemployment and interest rates. Snowe’s release continued, “Working directly with President Obama, Vice President Biden and Finance Chairman Baucus, Senator Snowe played a critical role in ensuring job-igniting provisions were included in the tax portion of the measure, which is expected to be approved by the Senate Finance Committee later today.” Does this woman know any Republicans?
In a statement following the meeting with President Obama, bookend Sen. Collins said, “President Obama made an impressive presentation. What I appreciate most is his willingness to engage in discussion, to answer many questions, and to respond to concerns about his stimulus plan.” Gush. Obama talked to me!! The release continued, “Earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 21-9 to send the President’s proposed package to the full Senate. Senator Collins was one of four Republicans who voted in favor of advancing the legislation.” Collins should be commended for her willingness to hang the repercussions of this bill on the proper person — Barack Obama — and is always a sure vote for big-government spending.
The conservatives in the Senate appear to be standing firm against the leviathan spending bill. At a press conference on Thursday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), one of the very best in the Senate, said, “This is about spending money we don’t have for things we don’t need.” Precisely, Senator.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has been heroically plodding through the finer elements of the bill in the Democrat Markup In Name Only as the Republican ranking member of the Finance Committee. Grassley has won victories that amount to tossing a brick in the Grand Canyon, such as inclusion of the Alternative Minimum Tax patch, as well as, according to a release on Thursday, “… a key commitment from colleagues to work to fix a charitable mileage reimbursement problem via the economic stimulus bill working through Congress.” It is unknown whether this slow torture has had any effect on Grassley’s vote, but it is rumored he may recommend this procedure as a replacement for water boarding at Gitmo.
On Thursday, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), another Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, announced his opposition to the bill. “This so called stimulus bill aims to address problems in the economy through a massive increase in spending by the federal government,” Roberts said. “What it really does is create 600,000 government jobs, growing the size of the government, adding to the deficit and the burden we place on our children and grandchildren. And for what? To fulfill the Democrats wish list. To spend.”
Sen. John McCain (RINO-Ariz.) stated this week on Fox News Sunday that he would not support the bill unless there are major spending cuts, yet there is always the risk that he will go mavericky at any moment.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) can usually be counted as another RINO vote. As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, he voted in favor of the bill to move it out of that committee on Tuesday. “I’m not voting in favor of the bill on the merits," Specter said. “I recognize fully the enormous problems which our nation’s economy faces. I am prepared to support a stimulus package, but I want to be as sure as I can that the monies which we appropriate will be directed in a meaningful way to create jobs as promptly as possible, and not in the future.” Which means he’ll likely vote for the massive spending bill despite his concerns, after carefully weighing all options, of course.
It does not appear that Democrat leaders in the Senate will be able to provide any real Republican support for the President’s “stimulus bill” farce, but a few of the usual RINO suspects will line up and vote with their Democrat socialist comrades — who all appear at the moment to back the bill en masse.
The sham stimulus bill is set for floor debate in the Senate next week.