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House passes Obama economic stimulus plan

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House passes stimulus; no GOP support

Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 6:35 PM by Domenico Montanaro

From NBC's Mike Viqueira and Domenico Montanaro

The House passed the stimulus bill by a 244 to 188 vote.

Eleven Democrats voted against the measure, and not a single Republican voted for it. The Democrats were: Boyd, Bright, Cooper, Ellsworth, Griffith, Kanjorski, Kratovil, Minnick, Peterson, Shuler, Taylor.

These, for the most part, are Blue Dogs, the fiscal conservatives in the party.

Despite President Obama's efforts to cull support for the bill, Republicans placed the blame squarely at the feet of House Democratic leadership, namely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for not involving them in the drafting of it.

Obama praised the passage of the bill, but included this line: "The plan now moves to the Senate, and I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan before it gets to my desk." Perhaps a sign that this Democratic-written plan may change quite a bit, which is usually the case with the large number of edits, adds and deletes done by the Senate.

Here's Obama's full statement: "Last year, America lost 2.6 million jobs. On Monday alone, we learned that some of our biggest employers plan to cut another 55,000. This is a wakeup call to Washington that the American people need us to act and act immediately," the president said in a statement. "That is why I am grateful to the House of Representatives for moving the American Recovery and Reinvestment plan forward today. There are many numbers in this plan. It will double our capacity to generate renewable energy. It will lower the cost of health care by billions and improve its quality. It will modernize thousands of classrooms and send more kids to college. And it will put billions of dollars in immediate tax relief into the pockets of working families. But out of all these numbers, there is one that matters most to me: this recovery plan will save or create more than three million new jobs over the next few years.

"I can also promise that my administration will administer this recovery plan with a level of transparency and accountability never before seen in Washington. Once it is passed, every American will be able to go the website recovery.gov and see how and where their money is being spent. The plan now moves to the Senate, and I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan before it gets to my desk. But what we can't do is drag our feet or allow the same partisan differences to get in our way. We must move swiftly and boldly to put Americans back to work, and that is exactly what this plan begins to do."


                                               Look at the flowers

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