James Forsyth

Only three Republicans vote for the stimulus in the Senate

Only three Republicans vote for the stimulus in the Senate
Text settings
Comments

The stimulus has passed the Senate and now heads to a conference to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions. However, the bill only got three Republican votes meaning that it passed 61-37, only avoiding the threat of being filibustered by one vote. Back at the beginning of January, the Obama team were talking about getting 80 votes for the package in the Senate.

The latest polling suggest that Obama is having the better of the public opinion fight over the stimulus. But there must be worry in the Obama camp that they are into partisan warfare so early on in the presidency. This means that they have little to no room for Democratic defections in the Senate, weakening the White House’s negotiation hand with Congressional leadership.

Ironically, the more ground the administration has to cede to Congressional Democrats the more unlikely it is to pick up Republican votes. It was House Democrats loading the stimulus with extra spending and almost halving the tax cuts on offer that energised and solidified the Republican resistance to it. 

 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Comments
Topics in this articleSociety