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. Gregory Gorman

    For 8 years, the Republicans doubled the spending on the Defense Department threw away more than $700 billion on the Iraq War and
    gave huge Trillion $$$ tax breaks to people making more than $250,000. And increased our National Debt from $4 Trillion to $Trillion.

    The Republicans who controlled all aspects of our government from 2001-2006 left our economy in shambles a complete disaster. And now they have the nerve of to tell us that we should agree that more of their tax cuts for the wealthy will save us AGAIN!

    What BS!!!!!!

    January 28, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  2. Nikki

    I've been without a job for over six months with no options on the horizon. Republicans are either misguided or out of touch (my vote is out of touch). What I want is a JOB not a tax cut – which I wouldnt get anyway seeing as I have no JOB!

    Republicans voting against the stimulas package is an endorsement in my book that Obama and the Democrats are doing the RIGHT thing!

    January 28, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  3. Kenny Jacobs

    This is Change? Sounds like the typical Washington broken record. Wake up America. This plan is nothing more than a social spending plan, that will only put us even further in debt.

    BUY AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!


    January 28, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  4. Linda Tirado

    I cannot believe that Republicans still do not get it. Their nay-saying and negativity is hugely disappointing. What do they propose as the economy collapses?

    January 28, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  5. BillieGee

    We need to overall the tax code and then dramatically cut taxes. Report released in June 2007 stated over 65% of US companies and over 68% of foreign doing business in this country pass no tax. We need not need a band-aid tax cut; we need to fix it.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  6. Layne

    I think the Repubs are showing their true colors. For 8 years they couldn't run this country's economy into the ground fast enough. Now, they're up in arms over a stimulus package that dares to throw some money at schools and the middle class.

    THEY LOST THE ELECTION!!!! Stop catering to these elitists and start fighting for the rights and interests of the people who elected you!!


    January 28, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  7. allison

    Last time the Congress voted for the bailout (remember, the executive Branch can't pass legislation) it was all a big rush job. Then after the fact, everyone said, hey, wait, where did all the $ go? DeJaVu all over again! Yes, we're in crisis, but think this thru please! Slow down and get it right.

    Stop the pork....eventually our kids have to pay this all back. Or perhaps we'll all be learning Chinese.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  8. Olga

    the "democrats" stimulus plan is full of pork.
    It also gives money to rich corporations instead of people who pay taxes.

    Somehow this "Change" is not good.

    It will not stimulate the economy, but we will be paying for it for decades.

    I think it should give tax breaks for people who pay taxes.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  9. Ron , West Coast

    The republicrooks will rue the day they did`nt vote to pass the stimulus bill.... The majority of the american public is behind this bill. Americans are losing their jobs every day, and all the republicans can do is Obstruct.
    The repubs can continue to listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and others of their ilk, at their own peril. The repub congress have learned nothing from the drumming they`ve taken in the last two election cycles.
    2010` will bring them to their senses when they take another scrubbing, and lose more seats....
    They play to the base of their party, which is becoming smaller, and smaller. The repubs don`t seem to be concerned that our economy is crumbling, and our jobs are being lost at an alarming rate daily.
    The game of politics as usual will not work anymore in the 21st century, the american public voted for Change,......

    January 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  10. Shirley in TN

    We all know the RepubliCONs won't sign on unless they get their earmarks. And if they wanted more tax cuts for their rich friends, why didn't they vote them in when they had a majority and a Republican president to sign it? Why weren't they worried about the deficit when we were fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong country for 6 years?

    Does Boehner think we didn't see that juvenile smirk on his face as he turned away from the camera 2 days ago after making the totally irrelevant statement that people (the unemployed?) should start saving their money?

    I've heard two female Republicans make the same idiotic statement that it's too much money and it's not being spent fast enough. They really don't think we're listening, do they? They'll find out!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  11. Maryanne

    Glen Rock,PA

    I think we should add another trillion for infrastructure since things have been falling apart since Reagan cut back spending on roads, etc.
    Plus, increase the investment in clean energy to make us more

    January 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  12. Ethel

    Why do we have to lump everything together. Let's separate the package. Do the tax cuts first and see how that work before we start adding all the other things.
    We put all our money into something and then when it does not work we are up the creek.

    I do not blame the Congressmen for not voting for it. It is too broad. Give the cuts to the people who are working. a $500 cut in my taxes as a single person over a 12 month person does not give me an incentive to send.

    President Obama you have to give in. The Democrats you are looking to create this package are the same ones who are looking enhance their special interest.. Give me the more money in my pay check. Give the tax breaks to businesses.

    But let's do something about the banks .Some of the banks need to fail and some of ther companies need to fail. We cannot bail out everyone and not help the tax payers who you are there to serve

    January 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  13. Keith, CO

    We spent weeks negotiating and debating loans to the Auto Industry -running them into the ground for traveling on private jets and questioning their business practices, while the Treasury hands our money out to Wall Street in unprecedented amounts and has yet to provide the American people with the accounting for what the money was spent on....

    The House today, instead of being responsible with the money we DON'T have, voted to write yet another $825B – and at what cost?

    At what point do we stop rewarding the behavior of the leaders of Wall Street and our politicians and start asking for some fiscal responsibility and accountability?

    January 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  14. Lyne

    The United States politicians in particular 11 Democrats and All of the Republicans voting against this stimulus package have their heads in the sand! Anerica is in distress.. American citizens are in dire peril financially. It is obvious expenditures such as the Smithsonian repair or other pork barrel projects are not necessities... and thus should be cut... but the thinking of voting NO vs. negotiating is detrimental to the people who are suffering financially. Families, seniors, and children are the victims of the economy. The financial instability going on in the United States is driving up property losses... poverty...and emotional breakdowns for people. I think the Stimulus bill needs to be quickly passed and the real stimulus be passed to the people. We have been further victimized having witnessed the Bailout for big business little or no questions asked and everyday hear new horror stories of being business buying Corporate jets with bailout money and taking vacations and yet Bipartisian politics stops the people from being bailed out for reasonable necessities. I am disgusted by the inefficiency of government not working for the people.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  15. Kari

    So much of this plan is absurd! An economic stimulus plan is certainly not a bad idea, but the way they are planning on spending this is not going to be of much help. President Obama promises change, but remember America; things don't always change for the better. The only economy I think this plan will help is China’s!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  16. Alexia

    I am so tired of the finger pointing, the complaining, and the poor sports in both the House and Senate. We have a wonderful new President who is willingly taking on the mess that the last Administration made over the past 8 years and all that is talked about is how the Republicans are not being listened to by the Democrats. All I can say is get over it and instead of crying to the media – "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to work". If they can't do that and really work together then I feel that these Congressman or Senators need to leave Washington- and let someone else come in who can focus on what is good for the American people.....

    January 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Joette

    Is everyone just willing to wait and see? Will the economy right itself if there is not one dollar infused into the system?

    As for President Obama's meet and greet policy, I think this is good, after all this is one of the reasons we voted him in, to talk to the people and that means the guys and gals on the Hill! As every day Americans it is nice to see a leader out there working for each of us. Keep talking President Obama!!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  18. Patrick

    How is money for STD and condoms going to stimulate? hmmm. wonder what stimulus speaker talking about. Lot of pork under name of Stimulus. When President or Congress tell people we must act immediately and swiftly and have cocktail parties at white house, it is fishy. I think this bail out is for election favors and down payment for next election. In the end, we taxpayers screwed. Wonder what change this is. Mr. President tells one thing does another. Mr. President said no lobbyists in his administration and next day hires a lobbyist. Mr. President said change the old politics in Washington and appoints a tax evader as Treasury Secretary (guess its a honest mistake).. dont know what to believe and whom to. I guess its all politics to win power. We people are dumb enough to elect them.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |

    Politics as usual! When will our "leaders" start leading. Voting along party line is an embarrasment. If the Republicans have a better plan, why didn't they present it when President Bush was in power? How bad does our economy have to get before these "kids" both Democrat and Republican start acting like sound leaders? Will they wait until all of the middle class is the poor house? What then? I can't belive that when a Republican comes up with a plan the Democrats vote "no" and when a Democrat has an idea , the Republicans vote "no"!!!
    Are we to believe that we have the wrong people in office because none have "good" ideas?

    January 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  20. Fred Doleac

    A major segment of the real estate market, the first time home-buyer, does not need a bailout, but must know the truth in current financing availability. Why not inform the consumer about the FHA programs two most important and misunderstood facts: Qualified buyers need only a 3.5% down payment and a credit score >600. Once they learn these facts they will take advantage of the afforability in housing and jumpstart the housing industry and the economy. No bailout or tax money needed.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  21. Connie

    I so upset with Republicans wanting more tax cuts and have argued that reseeding the national mall does not create job.

    They need to get over the fact that the world does not revolve around giving more tax cuts.

    I think that President Obama has reached out to Republicans in a way the The former President did not do with Dems only to have it thrown back in his face.

    I further think that Mr Obama should go full steam ahead with his plan, Republicans be damed.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  22. Janet

    It looks like this is a good idea gone bad with huge amounts of pork and a wish list for ideas may be good in flush times, but will do nothing to revive our economy, like the millions of dollars to remodel the Smithsonian, or put new grass on the Capital Mall. These money should be spent on investments in infrastructure industries that will repay the investment in future years, or in money to bail out state governments who can no longer pay for indigent health care, or to keep young people in college, all of which will give future benefit.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  23. Susan heron

    The republicans did not do such a good job with the billions we put out while bush was still in power so why are we listening to them now. We voted for change so that is what we should be getting.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  24. carolanne

    Why did I see 4 Republican congressmen comment on this and no Democrats? Why are your reporters talking about "porkbarrel" spending? You have been listening to Republicans too long, you have been brainwashed. I just heard AC talk about Dems "throwing money" at long-standing problems. Reps "throw money" at the rich. Is that better?

    January 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  25. roberto

    It just shows us that the republican party are saw loser and will try anything to get attention even if it is it taking the economic into a depression.

    Get off the tax wagon and give better solution to creates jobs. The republican tax plan did not work!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  26. Phyllis

    If they really want to stimulate the economy why do we have to launder the money through Washington?

    Why not cut taxes or something that gets it directly to the people? It looks like some of them are just using this bill for an opportunity for more pork spending!

    How in the world it's going to stimulate the economy I can't imagine!
    Three cheers for the congressmen that wouldn't go along with it!
    There were Democratic congressmen too, not just Republicans.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  27. Tish

    I think the Republicans are making a very big mistake by not responding to President Obama's compromises in the recent house vote. Americans voted for Mr. Obama because we trusted his ability to pull us out of this financial mess. Their resistance gives me the impression they are only interested in helping the rich. Not those of us regular, middle class Americans who are really hurting and want to see the government help people who need it.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  28. Mehdi Khezri

    Times are hard and between the politicians and CEO’s of this country they are not making it any easier for the rest of us small business owners and employees and the little guys of this world. All they care about is their own self’s and keeping their bank accounts fat while the working class has to pay for it. The politicians know and see what is going on with the bailout programs how these companies are giving bonuses in millions of dollars to executives who do not only deserve these bonuses they should be fired instead we are going to fatten their bank accounts even more. Presidents Obama while campaigning kept saying no more politics as usual but unfortunately is politics as usual in Washington! Nothing will ever change unless we the people get off our rears and speak up! Unfortunately the people of this country as bad as things are, we are very fat and happy and we just keep letting these politicians and big corporations keep robbing us and we keep living like everything is good and happy. We the people need to get real and demand change!!!!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  29. Susan

    We cannot use this "bail out" to landscape the national mall or buy brith control pills. I agree with the earlier post about giving the tax payers the bail out. The banks will be bailed out by everyone being able to pay off their credit cards and other bank loans. Folks we are as close to a depression as we have come on most of our life times. This is a serious and dangerous time.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  30. Clara

    It does not appear as thought the Republicans had much of a chance to negotiate any provisions for the stiumulus bill. Pres Obama just visited the hill yesterday and the bill has already been voted on.

    I don't think Nancy Pelosi and the old Dems did much to allow the Republicans to negotiate provisions.

    The Pres says he wants to be Bi-partisan but I don't think Congress is on board with him. They are throwing the Rep losses in the faces of their foes and spending our futures away! I hope the Pres can eventually reign in the very liberal democrats.

    I want to hear more about how this money is going to be safeguarded from being wasted. I just don't trust those Dem on the hill. Can they give me a reason to trust them?

    January 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  31. Tiffany L

    At the end of the day..It's all about partisan politics..Not one Republican voting yes for the stimulus plan is a smack in the face to all Americans no matter what their party affiliation..This is about their unwillingness to work in bipartisan with the new administration..In my lifetime, everytime a Republican assumes office the country is worst off by the time they leave the office..Where was their (Republicans)backbones when Former Pres. Bush was placing America in such a dire strait..I'm just saying....

    January 28, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  32. jesse tinajero

    Politics is a 2 edge sword. The Repos are hoping that Rush's prediction come true, that Pres Obama fails. We have to remember that the Republicans got us in this mess by giving Bush a blank check. We see it for what it is, they are not going to give Pres Obama anything they did not suggest. It is all about their worthless Pride.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  33. John Roger

    Hard to believe the Republican line...who do they think occupied the White House for the last 8 years and ran up the deficit. Their argument appears disengenuous and short-sighted at best.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  34. Dave C

    What good is a tax cut if you don't have a job?

    January 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  35. m.c.

    Can anyone showe me proof that cutting taxes for buisnesses has actually increased jobs?

    January 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  36. Mack Burwell JC. NJ.


    We live in a world where it's Ok to give 700 bil to help Bank Big Shots pay for a 35000 dollar Toilet and so many other thousands of dollars to pay for a Rug. Others Big Banks can buy a bil or mil dollar plane. While others buy Sex or look at all day on Tax apyers money,

    That's the stuff Republicans care about.

    Not the little people. Ask the Republicans are their families effected by the Economy crisis.

    Peolpe are Killings themselves and their families

    WE NEED HELP!!!!


    January 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  37. JP Miller

    The "stimulus" package is neither stimulus nor moral.

    The proposed “stimulus” package is looting the taxpayers and their children to pay the least productive individuals and those who can not pay their mortgages to stay that way. It is attempting to create more production by encouraging consumption. It will have us eating our seed corn instead of saving it and planting it next year. Consumption can only use up what has already been produced. Only savings which Americans are doing increasingly can shore up the banking industry. Only investment that the banks and entrepreneurs are doing can lead to new production.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  38. Lee/Carbondale,IL

    Tax cuts to individuals do not necessarily result in increased spending. Many people so uncertain of their own economic future will simply place the money in to savings or will use the money to pay for the high gasoline prices or high utitiliy bills this winter. Those that do spend the money go to places like WalMart to stretch their dollars and the money goes for goods produced by cheap labor in foreign countries like China and thus not increasing jobs here in the USA.
    The "W" and Republican strategy over the past eight years did not work and we know the trickle down economics of the Reagan era did not work.
    The country is in an extreme crisis and its time everyone works together for the good of American workers and cititzens.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  39. Buford

    Good for the Republicans to vote against the Expansion of Government Plan. I think that as time goes on this will not help but just expand our Government even more. I hope that I am wrong but more Government involvement is not what we need.

    Keep a close eye on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her gang!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  40. Jim, Thunder Bay Canada

    How do you know that when a business gets some bale out money that companies won't hire employees back but rather pay the existing employees more to do more work. The lay-off's could be used to thin out expenses, to be more profitable into the future. The past bale out money handed out should have proved this.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  41. David, N.Y. (USA)

    It is amazing that even though No Republicans voted for Obama's Stimulus plan, it was passed... Go Obama!!! I hope he will be very successful in the Administration!!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  42. Buford

    Money for prevention of STD's. How does that stimulate the economy??

    January 28, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  43. Tracy Brown - Ontario Canada

    As I understand it, there's going to be a web site dedicated to tracking these funds so that people can see exactly how the money is being used. The front page of the web site exists already.

    January 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  44. Buford

    What about giving tax breaks to those that don't pay Federal Income tax?

    I don't get that one!

    January 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  45. Leon

    As a 70 year old retired bookeeper & credit manager, I say any financial institution that paid large executive bonuses or approved lavish parties or vacations for their executives will not receive any bailout money period and will be scratched from the list immediately.
    All money lenders require the borrower to show how the money will and can be repaid and should apply in this instance.

    January 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  46. Harley

    I am in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a "WE DERSERVE IT DIVIDEND."

    200,000,000 U.S. Citizens 18+. Approximately 200,000,000 adults 18 and up. Divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion - that is $425,000.00.

    Give $425,000 to everyone 18+ - of course not tax free. Let's assume a tax rate of 30%. Everyone would pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam; and gives all 18+ $297,500.00 in their pocket.

    We could pay off a mortgage (housing crisis solved) - Repay college loans - Put away money for college - Save money in a bank (create money to loan to entrepreneurs) - Buy a new car (create jobs and save the auto industry - Invest in the market (capital drives growth) - Pay for family medical insurance (healthcare improves).

    January 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  47. Rebecca

    Good evening. I believe that the government needs to do everything in it's power to help our economic situation. Schools and education need to be helped through this money especially our teachers. If education is valued so much in America then why is so little given to it and even less to the teachers. Everyone needs to put aside their differences for the good of the country and it's people.

    January 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  48. Clarence Albuquerque

    It sounds as if reality keeps showing its ugly head.... but then again, keeping it real is what keeps us viewing the humanity of it all.

    January 28, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  49. Annie Kate

    I hear about this chunk of money for education and this chunk for infrastructure and this chunk for something else but I don't hear of any measures that follow the money and track it to see just how it was used, how many bridges it fixed, how many schools it repaired or built, etc. So to me this is starting to sound a lot like the first bailout – money thrown out there hoping some of it would hit a target that would help. I think it would be better to take more time and put out a package whose results can be charted and whose results can actually be seen.

    January 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  50. EJ (USA)

    I wish I could go to that cocktail party.

    January 28, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
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