Oh, those coquettish Republicans.
First they “are being listened to” by the president on a stimulus bill that includes more than $250 billion in tax cuts. Then they realize that they just can’t support a stimulus without more tax cuts — and the elimination of family planning aid.
They get their way on the latter, though perhaps not the former … but then they realize that the problem isn’t President Obama. It’s the Democrats!
From Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) interview with the Today show (emphasis mine):
Frankly, what’s developing here is, [Obama’s] biggest problem is with his own party, the Democratic Party, which seems to be drifting away from what he said he wanted, which was for the package to include at least 40 percent tax relief and to be earmark-free.
So he could, ironically, end up with better supporters in trying to achieve the kind of stimulus package — which would be timely, targeted and temporary — from us than he’s getting from the Democratic majority, at least so far here in the Congress.
Listening to what he said he wanted, we think we may be closer to that, oddly enough, than the Democratic majority, which seems to be pulling in the direction of fewer tax — less tax relief and things like fixing up the [National] Mall. You know, most people don’t think that’s the way we ought to spend stimulus money.
Late Update: Here’s the video:
Later Wish-List Update: The Republicans have successfully stripped family-planning aid from the stimulus, but that’s not the end of their wheeling and dealing. McClatchy reports on several other provisions GOPers aim to jettison from the bill … before most of them vote against it anyway. Here’s the list.
$5 billion for colleges and universities, many of them already with billion-dollar endowments.
$600 million for new cars for the federal government.
$200 million to improve the National Mall, including $21 million for new grass.
$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.