Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stimulus Vote, Take Two

The votes in the House and Senate on the final version of the stimulus bill, as worked out by a House-Senate conference, were very similar to the two houses' earlier votes on their separate versions. No House Republicans voted in favor and, on the Senate side, Republican support was limited to the same three northeasterners who had supported the bill initially: Arlen Specter, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

As I've noted before, presidents tend to get too much credit for a good economy, and too much blame for a bad economy. The party-line nature of these votes should only accentuate that effect.

If a recovery is underway by the mid-term congressional elections next year, Democrats will take credit, and will blame the Republicans for doing all they could to try to block the Democrats' efforts to bring about that recovery. If not, Republicans will blame Democrats for prescribing the wrong remedy.

And what will the political implications be for the three Republicans named above?

I've already written about Specter's reelection contest next year. His vote on the stimulus bill might increase the chances of his facing a challenge from the right in the Republican primary.

By contrast, in Maine, Collins was reelected last year, and therefore won't face the voters again until 2014. And Snowe is next up for reelection in 2012. In any case, I don't know that they face as conservative an electorate as Specter does, here in Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

The Intellectual Redneck said...

Democrats secretly gut welfare reform in stimulus bill. They inserted a provision that allows states to keep the number of welfare to work caseloads at the current level while they expand the number of people collecting welfare. That means there will be no requirement for these welfare benefit collectors to ever get a job. President Obama claims this bill will create almost 4 million new jobs. Why don't the democrats want people on welfare to take them? The reason is democrats have never really supported welfare reform and this is just the first strike in a battle to end it.