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January 30th, 2009
01:35 PM ET

How should the stimulus bill be changed?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Republican Senators have vowed to fight the economic stimulus package after it passed the House with no support from their Party.

U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) (C) speaks as (L-R) Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) look on during a news conference on the economic stimulus package on Capitol Hill January 29, 2009 in Washington, DC.

They swear this is not a case of the usual political games and insist that the bill is a waste of money unless it includes more tax cuts and details on where the more than $800-billion is going.

But they are also still whining about being left out of the process, saying the Democrats are ignoring their concerns. This despite the fact that several changes were made in the House version of the bill specifically to placate the Republicans.

The Democrats have launched an offensive. They've started running ads targeting Republican Senators who are up for re-election and urging them to vote for the stimulus package.

Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker pointed out an ad in the Washington Post in which 300 economists agree with Wicker and his Republican colleagues that passing the bill is the wrong thing to do. He added, "a trillion dollars is a terrible thing to waste. Let's be careful we're not making the situation worse in an attempt to make it better."

Despite all the bickering, at the end of the day it's expected the bill will pass the Senate, but with changes from the version that passed the House.

Here’s my question to you: How should the economic stimulus bill be changed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Republicans • Stimulus Plan
January 29th, 2009
01:19 PM ET

Does quitting smoking stimulate the economy?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As you know, the House passed an $819-billion stimulus package yesterday. Now a different version of the legislation will make its way through the Senate.

A version of the stimulus bill includes $75 million to get people to quit smoking.

That version includes $75-million to get people to quit smoking. It was sponsored by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin who says the idea is to ultimately reduce health-care costs.

To make his case, Harkin cited reports that show smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases and costs $110-billion a year in health costs.

Seems straight forward: Get people to quit smoking and they won't drain the health care system. Perhaps that's the same line of thinking that went into the $400-million the Senate included to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. The House version included $335-million for that.

Some of the $75-million to get people to kick cigarettes will go to the Department of Health and Human Services to bolster anti-smoking campaigns that already exist. Another chunk will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for equipment that tests the contents in cigarettes. Do we need this? Cigarette packages plainly tell you smoking will probably eventually kill you. And I find it very hard to believe we need additional equipment to test the contents in cigarettes. Tobacco and carcinogens would seem to cover it.

Here’s my question to you: How does getting people to stop smoking stimulate the economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Stimulus Plan • US Economy
January 26th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Pelosi says birth control will help the economy. Is she right?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The $825-billion stimulus package that President Obama wants on his desk by mid-February is supposed to start turning the economy around. The President talked about transparency and has even announced that a Web site will give an accounting so people can keep track of how the money is spent. He's also vowed that there will be no pork in the bill.

House Speaker Pelosi recently said that contraception would “reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

Over the weekend lawmakers got on their soap boxes. Democrats were out peddling the plan and Republicans were pointing out the problems.

On ABC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended hundreds of millions of dollars in the stimulus package earmarked for family planning.

She said family planning reduces costs and explained that the stimulus plan includes assistance to states and part of that includes children's health and education. That includes contraception, which she said will, "reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

What exactly did she mean? Are the millions of dollars for birth control supposed to stop people from having babies? She's starting to sound like Chairman Mao.

When asked if she had any apologies for those remarks, Madam Speaker answered, "no apologies."

Here’s my question to you: Is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi right when she says adding birth control to the stimulus package will help the economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 23rd, 2009
02:08 PM ET

Is it a mistake for the GOP to oppose stimulus plan?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's hopes for broad bipartisan support for his $825-billion emergency stimulus package have been dashed.

US House Minority Leader John Boehner (L)R-OH and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) make remarks to the press outside the West Wing after their meeting with President Barack Obama today at the White House.

The President wants the emergency bill on his desk by President's Day. But there's an obstacle in the way: Opposition from Republicans that seems to be growing by the day. Now they are complaining they've been shut out of the process of writing the bill. They are pointing a finger at the Democrats for ignoring the President's call for bipartisanship.

We're in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Voters made it clear they're sick and tired of partisan warfare in Washington. Is anybody listening?

Today President Obama met with GOP leaders to hear their concerns. House Republican leader John Boehner said he and his colleagues feel the package is too expensive and too slow. Republicans want tax relief in the hands of Americans right away.

The President said he would take the Republican concerns under consideration. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama will go to Capitol Hill next week to meet with lawmakers and try to get this thing done.

My question to you is: Are Republicans making a mistake by opposing President Obama's stimulus plan?

Here’s my question to you: Are Republicans making a mistake by opposing President Obama's stimulus plan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Republican Party • Stimulus Plan
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