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Senate Republicans May Filibuster Obama Stimulus Package

January 30, 2009

Last year, the Roadblock Republicans of the 110th Congress set the all-time filibuster record. Forcing 104 cloture votes by October 2008, the Senate's GOP minority easily eclipsed the old mark of 61 filibusters. And now, fresh on the heels of "elated" and "celebrating" House Republicans' refusal to provide a single vote in support of President Obama's $825 economic recovery package, Senate Republicans are now suggesting they will filibuster the stimulus bill.
That's the word from ThinkProgress, which Friday afternoon offered a round up of the latest in Republican obstructionism. While Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions offered a none-too-thinly veiled threat of a GOP filibuster ("I think its going to take 60 votes to pass the bill"), Arizona's John Kyl said he would explore "whatever parliamentary possibilities are in front of us." Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) promised to join the effort, announcing, "I would be a part of it." And on Thursday, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Robert Siegel on NPR that a filibuster of the Obama package passed by the House could be in the cards:

SIEGEL: By the way, Senator, we always just assume that anything in the Senate requires 60 votes because there will be a filibuster threat. Is that right? Does this bill need 60 votes to pass?

GRASSLEY: Yes.

SIEGAL: It does?

GRASSLEY: Yes.

The revelations are just the latest signs that Senate Republicans will violate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's pledge three weeks ago "I don't think this measure's going to have any problem getting over 60 votes." Referring to almost $300 billion in tax cuts already incorporated by the Obama administration, McConnell said:

"It could well have broad Republican appeal and make it much more likely that the measure passes with broad bipartisan support, which is what the new president would like and what we would like."

As it turns out, not so much. Getting in line with their obstructionist House brethren, Senate Republicans are apparently once again preparing to return the filibuster. That would be the same Senators who until their crushing defeat in the November 2006 mid-terms routinely demanded the "up or down vote."

6 comments on “Senate Republicans May Filibuster Obama Stimulus Package”

  1. Here's a story about a party called Republican:
    In the 1970s the Republican Party turned against the Equal Rights Amendment and created the "gender gap"; ever since it has been losing voting blocs bit by bit. Now it is struggling just to keep the support of hate groups. Look how thuggishly they had to act all these years just to make it seem they were strong, capable; just when the worst among them thought themselves about to have a "Permanent Majority", but then -- KABOOM!
    Let us call it the "Bubble Majority".

  2. Here's a story about a party called Republican:
    In the 1970s the Republican Party turned against the Equal Rights Amendment and created the "gender gap"; ever since it has been losing voting blocs bit by bit. Now it is struggling just to keep the support of hate groups. Look how thuggishly they had to act all these years just to make it seem they were strong, capable; just when the worst among them thought themselves about to have a "Permanent Republican Majority" -- KABOOM!
    It was a bubble -- the Bubble Majority.

  3. I don't think that the GOP is dumb enough to filibuster the stimulus plan. Think about it. If the stimulus is shot down and the economy tanks - a very likely possibility - then who will be blamed? It won't be the Democrats. The know nothings among the GOP would be shooting themselves in the foot. I suspect they are clever enough to see that. But perhaps not. A group that depends for their support those people who take pride in being Rush's "ditto heads" (that is, not thinking for themselves)is just likely to be that dumb. In which case, we are in for a very tough patch - very tough indeed.

  4. The trillion dollar stimulus package contains some of the spending that is not necessary and we've got to look at the package in terms costs and benefits. If creating a $40k-$50k a year job costs taxpayers $200-$300K, then this does not make sense and such programs are not necessary. We'd be better off transferring that money directly to struggling homeowners and giving further larger tax breaks for laid off workers and the middle class. I think we need to concentrate on further empowering the middle class, rather than spending taxpayers money on unnecessary spendings such as opening/renovating museums and constructing water parks.


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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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