From Deacon Blues at Left Coaster here.
Before too much energy gets spent being angry at House Republicans for voting en masse against the economic recovery package, let me get a few things off my chest:
1. This wasn't Barack Obama's bill, but rather a piece of wish-list crap from David Obey. It had pork, way too little infrastructure spending, and wasn't worth the paper it was written on.
2. Of course the GOP voted against it; this is Stage One. They knew the bill would go to the Senate, and then back to conference committee. They were trying to send a message to the White House: we won't vote for crap.
3. Obama isn't going to overreact at this stage, because this is still way early in the game, and he knows he'll need their votes later on on other issues, and they will need him later on. They'll be doing a lot of business together, so why should he waste any energy getting mad at them this early for not voting for Obey's "kitchen sink" approach?
4. Even GOP members of the House wanted creative things like billions for vouchers for consumers to buy American cars, and yet they were shut out by Obey, who instead used this opportunity to put pork and his off-the-shelf wish list items in this bill instead of real economic stimulus.
5. The one downside for the GOP from today's vote is that Obama has no need to be bound anymore to a $250 billion figure for tax cuts, and can now replace some of those with better investments.
6. Obey's bill was a joke when it came to infrastructure spending, where he only allocated $43 billion in direct spending on community needs. If we are going to do this right, the final package should have about $150 billion in tax cuts, $200 billion in aid to the states, at least $100 billion in assistance for troubled homeowners and the unemployed, and at least $400 billion for infrastructure including a good chuck for energy supply systems and green energy sources instead of the pitiful $32 billion he had in direct energy-related infrastructure spending. Anything less than this for infrastructure is a fraud.
There will be a better bill, with better choices and better balance, and it will get GOP support at the back end of this process. But there was no reason whatsoever for any GOP House member to alienate their red district constituents to vote for a sham and a liberal wish list. And Nancy Pelosi has no one to blame but herself for letting Obey run loose in the china shop to produce utter crap.