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McCain: Obama needs to consult on stimulus

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    By Steve Holland – 1 hr 17 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former presidential rival John McCain expressed disappointment on Friday that President Barack Obama has not negotiated with Republicans over a huge economic stimulus plan and said he is working on an alternative package.

    Speaking to Reuters, Arizona Sen. McCain said the alternative plan would include what he described as "more effective tax cuts, such as a payroll tax cut" and spending on projects aimed at immediately creating jobs.

    "A group of us Republican senators are working on coming up with an alternative package that I would hope would have some elements to it that Americans would support," said McCain, who lost the November 4 U.S. election to Obama, a Democrat.

    "One, we have to have an alternative and two, we still hope that the administration -- although time is running out -- that the administration will sit down and do some serious negotiating, which they have not done," he said.

    An $819 billion stimulus plan passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday, with no votes from Republicans.

    The Senate, also controlled by Democrats, begins debate next week on a bill that contains $342 billion in temporary tax breaks and more than $545 billion in spending to total about $887 billion.

    McCain said it was helpful that the Democratic president visited Capitol Hill this week to talk to Republicans about the stimulus plan but that "some very rapid and dramatic outreach" is needed.

    "I have to tell you I'm disappointed so far in the administration's lack of consultation or efforts to work with Republicans on the stimulus package," McCain said.

    'BRING THEM TO THE TABLE'

    It is one thing to talk to Republicans, he said, but "it's entirely something else to bring them to the table and sit down and say, 'OK, how can we come up with a common outcome that we can agree on?' They haven't done that."

    Obama would like some Senate Republicans to vote for the plan as a way of expressing bipartisan unity on the need for a massive stimulus package aimed at stopping the slide in the U.S. economy.

    But Republicans complain that some of the spending items are more about furthering the Democrats' policy agenda than giving the economy a jump-start.

    Obama said after his talks with the Republicans on Wednesday that he did not expect to get 100 percent agreement from them or even 50 percent, and that they had relayed a number of suggestions to him and he had described his own approach.

    McCain said he is working with Republican colleagues Mel Martinez of Florida, John Thune of South Dakota, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and others on the alternative plan.

    "Republicans are not reluctant to spend money or to appropriate money to try to get the country moving again economically. We just see this legislation as not achieving that goal," he said.

    A payroll tax cut would be a way to immediately put extra cash into workers' pockets. But during earlier discussions about the idea, some senators questioned whether the cut would be significant enough to be beneficial.

    McCain, whom Obama has sought to woo as an ally in the Senate, also expressed concern about Obama's nominee to be deputy secretary of defense, former Raytheon Co. lobbyist William Lynn.

    Critics have said Lynn's nomination seemed to violate Obama's ban on hiring lobbyists.

    McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee that is considering Lynn's nomination, said Lynn so far has not told him what defense issues he would recuse himself from as a result of his Raytheon ties.

    "I'm not trying to hold up or block his nomination but I do want to get some answers and then I'll be glad to move forward when we get the answers. But I do need the answers," he said.

    McCain made clear he has moved on from his disappointment at losing the November presidential election to Obama. He said there are many areas in which he hopes to find common ground with Obama, such as controlling government spending, improving health care policies and focusing on national security issues.

    (Editing by Doina Chiacu)
  2. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    I think McCain is losing his marbles.

    Obama has met with them at least three separate times and I am pretty sure they (obama and republicans) talked about the plan on each occasion.
  3. DaBoys4Life

    DaBoys4Life Benched

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    It doesn't matter how many times they meet if they're just being talked at and the Democrats/Obama are going to do it their way whether you agree or not so you might as well agree.....
  4. BigWillie

    BigWillie Well-Known Member

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    It's basically translation for "give us everything we want or screw you."
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    One thing being left out there was 11 democrat house members who voted against the bill as well. The no votes tended to be a bit more bipartisan than the yes votes which was all democrats
  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    McCain is only saying what we all know, that communication with your partners is absolutely indispensable to finding the form of stimulation that is most effective and mutually agreeable.
  7. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    These articles aways seem to leave out the fact that it was a bipartisan vote against it. Not just Republicans. They refuse to mention that Dems were also against it.

    I wonder why?;)

    edit: doomday101 beat me to it.
  8. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    It makes better news to say it was all republican

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