And That is That: The Democrats (Will Soon) Own the Stimulus
Just in time to get out of town for a week-long President’s Day recess, the Senate on Friday afternoon all but secured passage of the Democrats’ $787 billion stimulus package, complete with $232 billion in tax rebates — including $7.70 per week for you and me.
By 6 p.m., Democrats had secured the three GOP votes needed to defeat a Republican filibuster, after Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Arlen Specter (Pa.) sided with every voting Democrat in support of the bill. (The vote will remain open for a few more hours in wait for Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who will return to Washington later this evening following his mother’s wake. Earlier this week, Brown assured TWI’s Aaron Wiener that he would support the bill.)
It’s not the first big victory for President Barack Obama (think: SCHIP and Lilly Ledbetter), but it’s certainly the most expensive — not to mention the biggest gamble. With only three Republicans signing on in support — and no GOP backers in the House — the Democrats will have a tough time calling this thing a bipartisan effort. Indeed, for better or for worse, the stimulus bill is theirs, and only time will tell if it will prove a blessing or a malediction.
The tone of the 2010 elections might just hinge on that distinction.