January 28th, 2009
09:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Bad Schmoozing?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

President Obama is hosting more lawmakers at the White House tonight. I gotta believe it's a bit of an awkward cocktail party. Then again, politicians can schmooze like no others. See Mr. Obama is trying to get members of Congress to support his economic stimulus plan. The plan passed in the House tonight, but no Republican voted for it. 11 Democrats also voted "nay." The final vote was 244 to 188.

Republicans are concerned about the cost of the bill. We're talking about billions of dollars in spending. They also say the tax cuts don't go far enough.

We'll be playing out the numbers for you tonight.

We'd love to know - do you think the bill will do enough to boost the economy?

And, are all of Pres. Obama's meet-and-greets pushing his plan wasted energy - since the  GOP doesn't seem to be on board the plan?

A chunk of the stimulus plan would go to improving America's crumbling infrastructure: bridges, sewage systems, dams, etc. The American Society of Civil Engineers issued a new report card on our nation's infrastructure and it wasn't good. The overall grade was a D. Tonight, we'll dig deeper on the report. The troubling part is that the group estimates the government and private sector needs to invest $2.2 trillion over five years to make the necessary repairs. That's about three times more than the amount listed in Pres. Obama's stimulus package.

Tonight we're also looking at the porn scandal at the National Science Foundation. You would think workers know not to surf for smut on the job. But it seems a few did it anyway at the foundation. One senior official at the agency reportedly quit before getting fired. Investigators determined the value of time lost on the job at more than $58,000 - for that one worker. Your tax dollars wasted - as he allegedly viewed explicit images and sent explicit text messages to various women over two years.

We'll have these stories and more tonight at 10 pm ET.
We hope you can join us!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Janet Mandaville

    Republican House vote on stimulus package seems like childish pique over losing the election. Very childish!

    January 29, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  2. Von Johnson

    republicans lost the house because the country was heading down hill

    January 29, 2009 at 5:15 am |
  3. jeremy

    I agree with Harley. I would use the money to pay off my house and car loans, in return, that would help the banks and then I would have more money to spend, helping create more jobs. This is supposed to be a plan to Stimulate the economy right now, so why not give us tax paying Americans the money, instead of infrastructure, high speed internet and all the other fluff that's proposed to help in the future. I don't have a problem if the President wants to fix all these other problems we have, but do it later, we need something fast and something that will work right now and this will.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:39 am |
  4. Sheila

    Just a thought, maybe Mrs. Obama could embrace the idea of her girls as dolls. Perhaps an arrangement could be made with the toy manufacturer to donate a portion of the profits to a charity. History cannot be changed, and the Obama family has inspired a nation. Little girls included.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:00 am |
  5. keith

    I don't understand why we keep pushing tax cut . Half of all companies put most of their profit in their pockets and did not invest in theirselves.the rich got richer and believe me the poor stayed poor. If you don't own a business, who cares. We all need help

    January 29, 2009 at 1:33 am |
  6. Kirk Hylan

    I voted to see an intelligent man guide us as our Chief Executive. I am disappointed to learn about projects like $260M for the Nat'l Mall and/or $265M for computers for the State Dept. If you can be profitable first then you'll have plenty of money for remodeling later. I do not like the feeling of hearing about these types of projects because I cannot see where it is focused on 'national' job creation. When I hear about this I tend to side with the Republican statements about sneaking projects into the bill. I still think that Obama has superior intellect. I just hope that it does not become diluted by pressure from those around him or those that supported him.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  7. Tabitha

    You know I must say that it was dissappointing to see some of the pork that was in this bill. But as Mr. Gibbs described I believe it is about 2/100 of the bill. You know it really saddens me to see the Republicans acting this way. They are acting like they havent incorporated their "tax cuts" for the last 6-8 years and obviously played a large part in getting us in this business. And if memory serves me correct most of the time republican policies end with recessions and job loss. Needless to say, I understand that there needs to be compromise but absolutley no Republican support? It is utterly rediculous and sad to see that these are the people we elect to serve us.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  8. Sue

    I've become a CNN addict since I've lost my job a few weeks ago. I am a single mom of three children who went from making over $90,000 a year to nothing. I am about to lose everything with nowhere to go. With all the billions being borrowed, what would be one more?an actually help Americans not lose everything they have worked for. We gave billions to rebulid others, what about us? Some of us want to end it all feeling helpless

    January 29, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  9. glenn

    Please...let's not forget where the unbriddled spending started... during President Bush's watch.

    Now the GOP want to tell us how to spend when they were the ones who placed us in this pickle??? Sorry GOP- you need to find a platform that helps the US-I dont think the US people can afford for the GOP to "find themselves and what they stand for" what they should stand for is for the US. They can find what they stand for after the US recovers.

    In case they have not noticed... people are losing homes, retirement money, and jobs... stimulus now.

    January 29, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  10. Shah

    What about a stimulus package that we as American can vote on – take the decision away from the bureaucrats! It's our children's future they are affecting directly. This would eliminate the bickering

    January 29, 2009 at 1:18 am |
  11. Alice

    It seems to me that the fact that not a single Republican voted for the stimulus package says more about the Republicans as a "party of dinosaurs" than about President Obama's efforts to engage them in meaningful dialogue and in finding solutions

    January 29, 2009 at 12:32 am |
  12. Deborah Maxemow

    If the Republicans have a better idea as to which hose to use to put out the fire then let's hear it. Meanwhile, our nation is in flames and rather than waiting until the entire thing burns to the ground...I would say a little water is better than no water at all. We can argue later if it was Perrier or Tap.

    January 29, 2009 at 12:01 am |
  13. Vikas

    Tax cuts may be helpful to get Americans to spend more and thus temporarily boost the economy, but the fact remains that solving America's financial woes in the long run requires creating new jobs at home. After all, tax cuts do little to help those who cannot pay taxes because they are unemployed! But what bothers me most about the notion is how much it smacks of Republicanism. Republicans suggest that the way to reward taxpayers is by reducing their burden, as though taxes were some kind of punishment; this is the type of language that appeals to their constituents, perhaps. What the stimulus package needs to do is assure Americans that their tax money is being spent properly on projects of national vaue.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  14. wanda

    Very sad for our wonderful county. We have given and given. We need real leaders to help us out of this sad time. It is such a shame that we still have more pork spending... I am vey surprised that this plan will be passed. Parts of this bail out is okay but the other gifts are
    very questionable. It is being pushed through too fast and no time to study. (Over 600 pages) One of the most important thing is keeping our country safe. What are we spending on keeping our country safe?

    January 28, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  15. William

    I can NOT believe that 175 Republicans voted nay on this bill. I realize that many Republicans may have fundamental differences with democratic ideals such as an affinity for tax cuts and a hatred of spending, but house members need to think on behalf of the best interest of the people in their districts and, most importantly, their own logic. The fact that Obama doesn't need a single Republican vote to pass this bill, and yet still makes a trip to compromise and negotiate with the Republicans shows lengths about his character. And yet, Obama not only makes the effort, but actually removes pieces out of this bill such as the family planning part to compromise with them, and not a single Republican votes for this bill. Honestly, with that sort of audacity why even try to compromise with the Republicans. Don't the Republicans realize they are had a resounding defeat in the election. That they are lucky to even be at the negotiating table with Obama, do you think that Bush during his first term cared about working with the Democrats? Why should he even compromise with the Republicans when they continue this greedy my way or the highway attitude. They lost, the majority of the American people don't want to have their voice heard in Congress. How is anything suppose to get done in the US government if we don't compromise? Why don't we just follow the party line, and not think at all? The arrogance and audacity of the Republicans, not to vote a single yea on this bill is unbelievable. Why should Obama even include the Republicans in the discussion? He doesn't need them!

    January 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  16. Jason

    Obama has to appese repbulicans because, he is not just looking at this bill but others in the future. He will need their backing in the future and if he doesnt, they will look back at this and will remember that during this bill Obama asked for their imput and their help and will back and work with him on bills in the future

    January 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  17. Renee in CASPER WYOMING

    I have hope that in 2012 there will be at least 15 less Republicans in congress. Let's make it happen. This is the 21st century, we have a transformational president with enough good will for the entire world, and we have a new lease on life. Don't let the GOP get you down President Obama, keep taking the high road. Remember how disgusting the republicans were during the election...well, you took the high road and you won! Keep up the good work

    January 28, 2009 at 11:38 pm |
  18. Al

    I think the Stimulus Plan is a way of getting American people to agree in wasting our tax dollars on what the Democrats want to do to help the economy. It is a temporary fix. We pay taxes to circulate within the government to fund education, road repairs & government building repairs, health care facilities and medications, etc...
    American people also spend hundreds and hundreds playing lottery which is suppose to help the funding in education for most States. At least that what the Georgia lottery was meant to do since September of 1993. Even if the Stimulus Package is approved, who is the government going to higher to do the job in repairing roads, bridges, schools, etc... Middle Class Workers, Lower Class Workers or Mexicans that are willing to work for less?

    January 28, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  19. Vickie

    This issue is very frustrating – The Republicans mis-used the tax payers dollars over and over during Bush's Presidency – Here we have a chance to put American's back to work with re-building our infrastructure, saving millions even billions on re-tooling the records used by hospital and doctors and so many other crucial concepts of how to save American's money and give American's there jobs back! Those Damn Republicans blocking the good for all for their own benefit – Selfish, Selfish, Selfish! We the people, we are the ones that matter not those ignorant politicians that do not care about the everyday Joe!(If that's what we want to call them) I want to see us rebuild America and you just have to spend money to make money! The plan the Obama has put out there is a good one, a few minor changes but overall this is a good plan!

    January 28, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  20. Scott

    lets not forget history ... Herbert Hoover, a Republican did nothing and resolved to let the free market sort things out. The result was the Great Depression. Have we learned anything? Roosevelt's New Deal programs created 9 million new jobs. In the end though it was WWII (massive war spending and the consumer technology it spawned) that really turned it all around. However, had Hoover acted sooner (like now) the worst could have been avoided.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  21. Joe Manuel Real Estate Broker Michigan

    This is how you can fix the economy.>>>>>>>
    The Prsident need to order a mortgage rate reset for every borrower in residential, commercial, industrial and investment real estate from the current rate to 3%. This reset to be effective within 30 days after the president orders it into law and its to be effective for the next 5 years.

    1.More cash flow to the average joe.
    2.No more deafault on mortgage.
    3.No stimulus packages needed.
    and much more

    January 28, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  22. henry

    to stimulate the economy, why not save money , by just paying people laid off to pick up trash and do jobs with a pay that relates to their former salary and just keep them busy , the people would report to someone to work like they normally would not a socializing fun worktime , no talking on cellphones just work ,painting ,sweeping etc and try to find them employment within their field as soon as possible. People need to stay busy and not wallow in self pity and this would not be such a waste of tax money, would not even cost 10 percent of what this stimulas package would cost. Most of them could start shoveling snow where they live tommorow,

    January 28, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  23. Connie

    I am so tired of the way things are going in this country... Roads in poor condition, dams on the verge of collapse, bridge in such poor shape, ports are crumbling and transit has taken a beating as well.

    Yet we can give away millions to major corporations and what do we have to show for it? NOT A THING .... NOTHING......ZIPPO

    We need to to invest in all these things to help secure our nation and our Liberties. We can't go on like the way we have since Regan left office.

    We also need to start doing what the Bible says and here is a lesson to our leaders. The Bible says that we should esteem others better then ourselves. This bickering between the parties NEEDS to stop NOW and each party needs to look at the Joe ( Not joe the plumber) but the every day Joe on the street and see that the are feed and clothed and that they have needs that they need.

    Do I need to say more?

    January 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  24. nancy

    What is wrong with the Republicans, No votes for the President plan !!

    They had eight years to fix this problem, 8 years for them to create jobs. America got nothing but bail outs. Why would the American people listen or believe they care about spending and the people now.

    Republicans are out of touch with everyday people. They need to support the President or else they will find themselves out of office in the next couple of years.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  25. John

    It's not pork if it puts food on people's tables.

    Republicans are hiding behind trickle-down ideology, their failed experiment of the last few decades. Wealth simply doesn't trickle down. A bottom-up approach needs to be tried.

    We are headed for a depression if things continue the way they are going. It is once again time for Keynesian economics and another New Deal. This stimulus is exactly that.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  26. Michelle

    Dems should not consider giving in to even slight tax cuts. We've "been there done that." That whole practice got us into thismess. Time for change! It is all transparent, and the whole administration has accepted responsibility for the success or failure. Remeber those two governmental concepts?

    No fear here! We can trust them they are Democrats, the party responsible for curing all of the Nations ills and enacting all of the policies that make it great!

    January 28, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  27. Nikki

    BTW – What did I do with my tax rebate last year from the Bush's tax stimulus plan?

    I saved it for what I would see would be my immenent unemployment thanks to Bush's poor management. No one spends that money during tough times – they either save it or pay bills.

    Now give me a paycheck and I will be right back out there spending (wisely of course).

    January 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  28. Larry C

    The Republicans expressed with their votes what Rush Limbaugh expressed with his mouth...something like ...he hopes he fails?

    January 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  29. Scott

    I'm not surprised no Republicans voted for this bill. It is too politically risky. They know the bill would pass the House regardless. It puts the onus on the Senate. In sales there is an old technique that says start high ... you can always negotiate down. It doesn't work well in the reverse. Some of this will come off to get through the Senate.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  30. Vikas

    I can understand crticism directed at the Obama plan on account of funding of infrastructure improvements, education, the arts, and other projects that do not require immediate attention. Personally, I would have preferred subsidies for alternative energy to have taken up the lion's share of the package. Most House Republicans are biased toward tax cuts, so I suppose it's largely a matter of taste. But I am glad the Obama administration is at least willing to address these funding shortfalls in neglected areas, which are all too easy to ignore in times of plenty as well as times of crisis. Our nation's long-term health depends on investing in our future as well as our present.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  31. Vvi

    I am an Obama supporter. However, I have questions about the plan. $500-$1000 tax cut does NOT help us. It is just another stimulus plan that Bush has proved ineffective. I am self-employed and I don't think I can survive if I can't even make a living with $500 or even $5000 tax credit! What a disappointment!

    January 28, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  32. genevieve

    I feel better about this stimulator than the ones under Bush. But the republicans and the blue dogs need to shush, they sound evil saying things like, "boo this is a paycheck to fund things like education... and health care!". Oh clearly Americans don't care about either of those things, way to win 'em over. (sarcasam).
    Besides all this ridiculous partisan talk, can we just focus on how just because Bush's team messed a bailout up, doesn't mean Obama will? And regardless of ones party affiliation, can't we all HOPE that this WORKS!? Because we NEED it.
    Only thing I don't agree with is the infrastructure jobs. They just hire contract laborers, and around here, most of the people in those jobs are illegal immagrants. Way to fund the economy, there. Why not just send the money to another country in the first place and save us time?
    And that guy who viewed 58,000$ of porn just needs to pay it back. Sound reasonable?

    January 28, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  33. Dennis

    Using the stimulus to fund tax breaks is folly. We need projects now that will help end the Nation's economic death spiral, not higher tax cuts that will do little or nothing.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  34. Olga

    people who want the "pork" stimulus
    are hitting real "taxpayers" over the head....
    we will be paying for a LONG time!

    those who don't care and want the stimulus DON'T pay taxes!!!

    This is taking from workers to give to the rich.
    We should give tax breaks to those of us who pay taxes.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
1 2