The honeymoon is over. The House of Representatives approves an $819 billion economic-stimulus package on a largely party-line vote. The passage of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides "an early legislative victory" to President Barack Obama but also fulfilled the House GOP pledge to mount "100 percent" opposition to the bill:
The bill passed by a vote of 244 to 188, with no Republican support and 11 Democrats voting against it. Members of both parties said that despite Obama's overtures to Republicans - including a trip this week to Capitol Hill to woo members in person - the congressional leadership of both parties approached the stimulus legislation with the same unrelenting partisan tactics Obama attacked during his campaign and inaugural address.
House Republican leaders proved successful at rallying their shrunken minority to stand united against a bill they described as too wasteful, built around traditional Democratic fiscal priorities unrelated to economic recovery. Eleven Democrats, primarily from conservative rural districts, joined them.
Throughout the night members voted down a series of Republican amendments and voting "primarily along party lines against efforts to strip all spending provisions from the bill and one to remove Amtrak funding, among others."
This sudden fashionable penny-pinching, of course, is from the same Reoublican Party that gave George W. Bush a blank check for eight years that lead to the largest spending increase in our nation's history.