February 5th, 2009
09:22 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Stimulus Showdown

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/05/stimulus/art.staff.congress.jpg caption="Aides to the senators wait in the hall as Thursday's meeting takes place."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

We're covering breaking news on Capitol Hill tonight. The Senate still has to vote on Pres. Obama's stimulus plan. There was talk of an all-nighter. But we're told that's no longer the plan. So, what's the hang-up? We'll have the new details from CNN's Dana Bash and Ed Henry.

Just moments ago, Pres. Obama spoke at a retreat for House Democrats in Virginia.  He called on the Senate to pass the stimulus plan.  It felt like a campaign speech, a campaign to get the deal done.  We'll play the passionate plea for you.

There's also new fallout over Michael Phelps' bong hit seen around the world.   One endorsement deal has gone up in smoke. And, the Olympic hero has been  suspended from competitive swimming for three months.

Do you agree with the punishment?

And, could there be a change soon at the Supreme Court? Justice Ruth Bader Gisburg is hospitalized tonight after undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer. Will she step down? And, if so, who might be her replacement.

We'll have these stories and more tonight on AC 360°.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    Thank goodness that President Obama finally told it like it is!
    The speech to the Democratic caucus was on target, specific, and (in this case) appropriately partisan. Spending IS the point, and infrastructure, energy, state and city support is the way to spend and create or maintain jobs. Immediate action and statemanship rather than gamesmanship are required on behalf of the American people. Trickle down has not worked. The outcry by Republicans whose recent administration most helped to bring on the current crisis is the height of irony. Let's get on with it!
    P.S. Cable news could be a little more helpful in explaining the package, rather than trashing it and giving the Republicans prime time.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  2. B Roberson

    Obama is my president and i behind him 100%.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  3. Diane

    Senators want more Talking ??? We've had two years of talking.
    Start walking! Pass the Stimulus Bill tomorrow morning.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  4. Mike Evans

    Why should President Obama keep trying to appease Republicans? He tried that with the House and didn't get a single vote. Every Republican senator who's spoken on the bill has trashed it . Republicans have always thought that bipartisanship means doing things their way; well, their way has been a disaster. He needs only one or two Republican senators with some economic sense and some fear for their own political survival. The rest of them can go sulk.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  5. Ernesto Isaac

    We need to enact this bill quickly. But only a bill that actually works. The President is right when he said, "This is not a game..." And because it isn't a game we must make sure that this stimulus package actually creates jobs for the long and short term. Second, If the President wants the people on his side, he must articulate the specifics of the "Package" that the American Middle Class will benefit from... The American people want to see the "meat" of this Bill. Tell us HOW it will create jobs. Then he will have converts. On the street, everyone is talking about how the "infrastructure" part is important because its tangible, it creates jobs. Now I'm hearing its only a small part of the bill. What's going on?

    February 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  6. Kelly Dorow

    Hi Anderson. Love your show – you are the best! Just wanted to say that as a working woman, taxpayer, nurse, living in the Milwaukee metro area, I do not see one single thing in Obama's stimulus package that would benefit me. The only thing it does is make me so sad that my children and grandchildren won't have much of a chance in their lives to make a go of it unless they win the lottery. Very sad indeed. They should call it the pork and special interest group bill that it really is – won't stimulate anything in my world. I am not sure how printing more food stamps (which most people in Milwaukee are selling on the street corners) or printing more coupons for digital TV boxes is going to stimulate the economy. My friend in Janesville who lost her job at GM can't figure that out either – would you have a rationale explanation that us working folk taxpers could understand? Thanks much, keep up the good work, you are such an inspiration. Sincerey, Kelly Dorow, Mukwonago, WI

    February 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  7. vondora jordan

    all i can say is,,,we are tired of losing our jobs,,,we are tired of the excuses from republicans ,,,,,just give us who are at risk of losing or who lost they're jobs homes,,livelyhoods ,,,,because you have ego issues or w/demorcrats,,,get over it,,,get this bill past,,,,do something,,,you owe the american people,,,for 8 yrs of watered down politics,,,,bring america back,,,we need our homes, jobs

    February 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  8. DeeDee

    Americans are suffering and the senators are posturing. Of course, they still have homes, healthcare, and jobs so they think there's "no rush" to pass the stimulus bill. I feel sick watching the Republicans taking petty pot-shots at the most popular president in the world just because they're sore losers. Shame on the Republicans.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  9. Rose, NJ

    How many people must lose their jobs before these Republicans help, the bill might have issues but the mother who lost her job and does not food for her kids does not care, she wants something done. the republicans spent $700 billion dollars in iraq, $700 on Wall Street. Wake up America they don't care about you the people who work everyday.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Ed Francisco

    Pass the stimulus now. The opposition is foolishless. This is just a downpayment towand paying for the damage of the past 8 years. The race to alternative energy will cost $1trillion, and without it we are finished.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  11. Demetrius

    The Republicans really don't seem to have the American people at heart, just their own agenda. The "sour grapes" and "sore loser" syndrome is pretty evident in the republican camp. Yes , there is some pork in it, but show me any bill from D.C. that's pork free.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  12. Sharon

    The Republicans are willing to let our country go down the tubes so they can make the new President look bad. That's right, more people will be out of work and their homes, infrastructure crumbing around us and still not energy policy - all this so the Republicans can score a few policial points with the likes of Rush Lumbaugh. What is their answer: More tax cuts for the wealth and the well-connected. We had that for eight years and it got us to where we are today.

    The only thing that will stop this madness is if we all get on the phone, fax and email to every Republican in the US Senate and demand that support for the stimulus package.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Franklin Valliant

    For eight years we have watched the Republicans flex their muscle and revel in the power they held in the White House and the Congress. Those who questioned or challenged them in any way were branded as unpatriotic. They do not relinquish power easily. They have been stunned with their fall and they continue to put party politics before the needs of the nation. It was Republican leadership, their tax cuts, their determination to deregulate that brought the country to this peril. Their petty self interest, greed, and lust for power supersede their responsibility to their constituents and the American people.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  14. Melinda 'Ohio

    I do not even know the Republicans any more. They have changed so much. They don't even act like Republicans any more. They seem confused on their party roles. Lets get this economy stimulated! We have got to move on. I am concerned about our troops committing suicide. We have two wars to focus on. Come on Republicans. Start acting like Republicans instead of some party from mars. Bring back the party we once knew. Stop this nonsense with bickering. Put political agendas aside. "The people" voted for Obama and trust his intellegence. Try doing "the people" a favor and put some TRUST in your leader! Let us move forward and start having concern of our military and how we can make their lives better!!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  15. Bonnie Bates

    I was impressed that they broadcast the democratic retreat. President Obama is 100% right. He has to be tough and if it takes more time to decide what he feels is right , then so be it. Barack is handling things well since he took office. Much better than the past president. He has accomplished quite a bit in such a short time. It cannot be done over night. He is very passionate and doing a good job of standing by what he said he would try to d. I am proud of him and his convictions. I believe his slogan WE CAN DO IT.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    Call your senitors! He needs the peoples support!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  17. Mike Evans

    Why should President Obama keep trying to appease Republicans? He tried that with the House and didn't get a single vote. Every Republican senator who's spoken on the bill has trashed it . Republicans have always thought that bipartisanship means doing things their way; well, their way has been a disaster. They need to get on board.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  18. Dan Solomon

    I think that we should have a special election right now and kick out
    Baynor , (crybaby) Lindsey Graham , and the rest of the traitor repubilicans that do not care about this country , they showed how much they really care ,when because of there crybabying they had the part of the stimulus package removed about using only american companies the only thing they care about is there buddies ,who moved all of there jobs overseas ! I think most americans are sick of there sorry crap!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  19. majorie B

    Time is running out, this is not time for playing Republican, why did'nt the Republican play this bull when Bush and Poulson took one page and ask for $7B. We vote for CHANGE not more of the same.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  20. debbie

    I like what he did tonite, its about time i think the republican think he weak and naive and that just not the case we need to pass this bill asap longer we wait the it the more money we will need and remember he didnt make this deficit it was waiting for him when he walk in the door

    February 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  21. Debby

    I am soooo disappointed in President Obama for letting this bill have any pork in it at all. Give me a break! Do they think we're so stupid that they can get away with all this junk just because we voted for him? He said he was going to change things. Really whose playing the games? Why do we need these pet projects in a stimulus bill? I say vote NO!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  22. Mayda

    Republicans just don't get it!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  23. Linda

    This is nothing but a huge liberal wish list and has absolutely nothing to do with stimulating our economy.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  24. John H Bevan

    the republicans forced me to be an independent. And I felt I owed John McCain a personal debt... I want to see President Obama run for awhile...

    February 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  25. Charlotte

    Great speech by the President! How bad do things have to get before the Congress acts. We are small business owners with 100 employees in a high unemployment area in California. We don't want to have to lay off any more employees!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  26. Jeremy

    The whole bill is horrible and will not help. The publicity stunt with the $500,000 pay cap is not real. They can still get stock options but cant cash them until the debt is paid back (Delayed compensation). Better to do nothing and let the banks reset to the real values. Free money hurts more than helps.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  27. Patrick Feenan, from Belfast, Ireland.

    As an outsider, I find it strange that political representatives in the senate and elsewhere, passed bills to give Bush billions, some say trillions, for to fund the illegal war in Iraq. Now, when the USA economy is in dire straits why won't those Republicans help their own people and economy? Are they trying to bring President Obama down even before he is getting startied because of partizanship? Unbelievable! Lots of money for wars and business people, but none for the ordinary American citizen?

    February 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  28. Stanley

    The Republicans are playing politics with the lives of Americans, for the past 8 years under President bush, they show no regard for American middle class, they only care about their petty politics, lets kick em out for good! They (Republicans)are keeping America in the 20th century, its time for America to move fully into the 21st century with the new administration!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  29. Clint Harris

    I can't believe that Americans have no clue what is at stake if a Stimulus bill is not passed. The credit markets are basically closed... there is no money flowing around. It is killing any and all types of businesses. Without this bill, you will see a complete collapse of the economy. Republicans need to learn to compromise. You can't have a perfect bill so get on with it and quit being so stubborn.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  30. Bernese Swallows

    I think they need to come up quickly with a package that can be passed and put partisan politics behind them.

    What happened to the campaign promise to let people take up to
    $10,000.00 out of their 401K without a penalty?? I would like for
    you to follow up on this and see what answers you get.


    Bernese Swallows

    February 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  31. Charles

    Obama's speech tonight was straight and to the point, The campaign is over the people have spoken and we are behind this President, The Republican party that created this mess needs to get in the fold and stop all of this senseless bickering. The people of this country want action not talk, pass the bill already!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  32. Robin

    I have a feeling that many people, including myself, don't understand what "stimulus" means. But I voted for President Obama and I trust him. His speech was fantastic. Please....pass the stimulus now before we have to spend even MORE money to save our economy!

    February 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  33. Tim Orlando

    Cranking up the heat is exactly what needs to be done. I didn't vote for Mr. Obama for him to do a waltz with the Republicans. He's got to get tough to get the job done.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  34. Marcus Bunnett

    I don't even care about the Stimulus package...how can the Democrats being having a "retreat" on our dime??? What's the cost to taxpayers?!?! And more importantly, what message are you truly sending?

    February 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  35. sharon

    Don't we all share the presidents frustration? What is big business doing for the majoriity of our population. Do we wnat to continue to increase the amount of hungry citizens of this country so. that big business can get bigger, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer C'mon! This administration did not go on vacation in it's first 30 days, this administration seems to be going to work. Do the cable

    February 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  36. Debra Jordan

    Take the bill to the floor with or without the Republicans.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  37. Ken

    No good choices have ever been made in haste.The quicker this is ran through the less effective it will be.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  38. Tony Byrd

    I don't agree with Phelp's punishment, part of the beauty of maturing as a young man is putting away foolish things. Who among us did not do foolish things as a young person? This kid has already lost a ton of money from his endorsement portfolio, but any good attorney will tell you that he is innocent until proven guilty. The problem with the Moral majority is that we all too often forget to first remove the log from our own eyes.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  39. sherry

    Isupport our pres.I mean nobody had these kind of hang ups or concerns when bush passed his stimulus this just makes no sense at all I really think people are challenging pres. Obama's hand so he's going to have to lead the way he sees fit.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  40. R.B

    Somebody needs to let the Republicans know that their candidate lost the most recent election. While healthy compromise is a good thing, President Obama is "not gonna do it—like the Republicans did it for the past eight years." How do you think we wound up in this mess to begin with? The Bush administration had little regard for-never listened to, far less, caved in to – polls or opposing views. The funny thing is, Republicans have spent us to the verge of the second Great Depression. Now, we have a Democratic president, and they wanna cut the purse strings. Suprise, surprise. America deserves better. President Obama should ask the Republican "party" (which is now "partied-out" and wallowing in moral bankruptcy) to locate, retablulate, and reinvest the GROSS WASTEFULNESS and gross mismanagement of the recent past. Maybe then, we would have enough BIRD SEED left over to pass the stimulus bill.

    February 5, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  41. Jeff M.

    What was the cost, for the President and security, to fly a mostly empty 747 and support planes and helicopters, to Virginia, to visit the spa for a 30 minute speech, speaking to our vacationing politicians? Do they in government not know about video conference calls? Should they all be outside of Washington, at such a critical time for the American public? And these fools have the nerve to feel superior to the private sector? Change? I think not…. Jeff M. LaPorte, IN

    February 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  42. David Brenchley

    Michael Phelps ... give me a break ..
    This double standard has got to stop .. things would be OK if he was photographed tipping back a 5th of Jack .. yet achohol is responsible for how many deaths and ruined families .. ? It's all about the money in polititions pockets ... you want to stimulate the economy .. legalize pot ..

    February 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  43. Linda

    It makes me angry that the Republicans have done nothing but rip into this stimulus plan and yet have not produced their own comprehensive solution! Why? Because they're as clueless as the Wall St. bankers and have no solutions except lower taxes. How can we lower taxes when our states and federal government are already out of money?

    February 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  44. CindyR

    Call Congress and tell them to pass the stimulus plan. Enough already, this is nothing but pure sour grapes, and whippering over not holding on to power. Where were the Republicans over the past eight years when money was going to Blackwater, Iraq and out the window? Enough, put the people first and stop obstructing the bill.

    February 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  45. sharon

    Why do the republicans mistake passion and compassion for partisanship, with such partisan fervor?

    February 5, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  46. Michelle

    I am so glad that Obama is president,
    President Obama was right tonight.
    The foolishness needs to end. President
    Obama served notice that he will not
    be bullied by the Repubs and he will take
    it to them. There is a CBS poll out tonight
    that says 51 % of Americans support the
    president's stimulus plan while 39 % do not.

    February 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  47. Paul

    I think we need more detail on some of the individual parts of this massive bill

    February 5, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  48. Gita

    Call your senators and ask them to PASS the stimulus plan!

    February 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  49. Pete Oregon

    Lets make a deal door number 1 ,2 or 3

    February 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  50. Audrey

    I believe that President Obama knows what he is doing. I feel that those surrounding him, should show him support.

    February 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
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