Yesterday, despite President Obama’s unprecedented outreach — which included multiple working sessions on Capitol Hill and a White House happy hour — zero House GOP members voted for the economic recovery package. Their reasoning was that Obama’s recovery package did not contain enough Bushonomics.
Today, hours after the GOP’s defiant no-vote, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor ironically penned an op-ed in Politico saying that the GOP should not simply become the party of “no” to the Obama agenda. “We pledge to become a party of inclusion, not exclusion,” he proclaimed:
At a moment when the country needs our help, it would be a great mistake for the House GOP to turn inward and simply become the party of “no.” We want our new president to succeed, and America needs our new President to succeed, which is why we will contribute the full force of our ideas to help him navigate the choppy waters.
The recovery legislation will now be heard by the Senate. Is there hope for bipartisanship there? Unlikely. Today on Fox News, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) excoriated the legislation and said that he “thinks” the bill will receive zero Senate GOP votes:
DEMINT: But I think it is going to help define the Republicans and the Democrats once again. Because every Republican in the House rejected this, and I think every Republican in the Senate might do as well.
The House GOP was unwilling to compromise from the start, requesting earlier this week that the caucus present “100 percent” opposition to the package. With DeMint’s comments, it appears that conservative senators are preparing to mount a similar offensive.
In his op-ed, Cantor emphasized that he wants “our new president to succeed.” If that is the case, why did his caucus take its marching orders from Rush Limbaugh, who has explicitly said that he wants Obama to “fail?”
The Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo notes that just a few weeks ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “I don’t think [the stimulus is] going to have any problem getting over 60 votes.” Will McConnell keep his word and encourage members of his caucus to support the recovery?