As expected, Montana’s lone U.S. Congressman joined his Republican colleagues in opposing the House version of the economic stimulus plan that passed Wednesday in a party-line vote. In opposing the bill, however, Rehberg appears to be blaming Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rather than President Barack Obama.
It’s a popular position. There have been several national stories like this one in POLITICO:
Republicans on the Hill are instead framing their overwhelming opposition to the stimulus bill as a vote against a congressional Democratic leadership that is far less popular than Obama.
But, no, it’s not Obama’s fault.
“It’s not so much his effort, it’s what the House has done with this bill, what Pelosi has done with this bill,” explains Kay Granger (R-TX), a veteran member of the Appropriations Committee.
Rehberg has taken a similar line. In an earlier e-mail Wednesday, Rehberg blasted the “Pelosi-House Democrat Stimulus Bill.” And following his “no” vote, he again criticized the “Pelosi-Obey Stimulus Package,” but faintly praised Obama:
“Montanans know the economy is struggling, and they expect reasonable assistance from the federal government that had a hand in creating this crisis. But my phones have been ringing off the hook with people telling me ten-to-one to vote against this ‘so-called’ stimulus. Montanans recognize that this isn’t an economic stimulus so much as it’s a massive expansion of government. Congress must work together as President Obama has asked, and there are workable solutions we can bring to the table. We need immediate tax relief for working families, help for Montana’s small businesses, assistance for the unemployed and policies that will stabilize home values.”
Now the U.S. Senate will hammer out its own version of the bill. Both Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester are expected to support it.
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