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City of Brass


What the GOP voted against

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

via Clammyc at Daily Kos, here is a partial list of what the House Republicans voted unanimously against in refusing to support the stimulus package that passed without them.

  • An increase in the maximum benefit under the former food stamp
    program (now called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or
    SNAP);
  • An expansion of broadband internet access to rural areas of America;
  • Programs to improve infrastructure and develop rural communities;
  • Improvements to the criminal justice system;
  • funding for science and technology research;
  • Funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services;
  • Funding to repair, maintain and renovate the Department of Defense (DoD) facilities;
  • Energy efficiency projects and modernization of heating/cooling and electrical systems at the DoD;
  • Improving Army barracks;
  • Energy related research and development (renewable energy programs and expansion of existing weatherization activites);
  • Funding for the Army Corps of Engineers (remember the levees in New Orleans that weren’t funded?;
  • Modernization of the nation’s electrical grid;
  • Construction and repair of Federal facilities;
  • Funding for clean water programs and water infrastructure projects;
  • Capital improvements and maintenance for Forest Service and
    National Park Service, the Superfund program and wildland fire
    management;
  • Funding for the Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Funding for labor and employment training programs/Department of Labor;
  • Renovations to elementary and secondary schools;
  • Pell Grants and other student financial assistance;
  • Educational programs aimed at elementary and secondary education;
  • Defense construction projects – including hospitals, barracks and day care centers;
  • funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be used on maintaining VA medical facilities and cemeteries;
  • Funding for Information Technology projects at the State Department;
  • Funding for highway construction;
  • Funding for housing assistance programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
  • Grants to states and cities for community development;
  • Refundable tax credits for middle and lower income families;
  • Increase tax credit for higher education;
  • Extension of tax credit for renewable energy production;
  • Increase the earned income tax credit for lower income families with three or more qualifying children;
  • Increased funding for emergency unemployment benefits for those who exhaust the amount of benefits they collect;
  • Temporary increase in amount of unemployment benefits;
  • Assistance to states for spending on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program;
  • Extension of Medicaid coverage to certain unemployed workers;
  • Assistance with COBRA premium payments for certain unemployed workers; and
  • Incentives for health care providers to use “health information
    technology” which would reduce health care costs for providers and
    lower premiums.

All of the above is dismissed as “socialism” and “pork” by conservative ideologues, who are primarily to blame for the dilution of those terms of any meaning due to repeated overuse in the past decade. It is clear that modern-day conservatism needs to reinvent itself by reconciling its principles with the very real challenges that ordinary families as well as the nation as a whole face. Blind insistence that any spending on these challenges is tantamount to “socialism” is not only politically tone-deaf, but harmful to the nation’s self-interest. Rod Dreher actually points to a new conservatism that might fill the bill.

As Moe Lane says at RedState, the Democrats own the bill now. But that cuts both ways.



  • Mike

    You don’t think all of the above is pork? What does it have to do with economic stimulus? Isn’t it supposed to be an economic stimulus bill? If it doesn’t have anything to do with the said bill then it is pork, do you disagree?

  • http://www.cosmicconservative.com/weblog CosmicConservative

    This is hilarious. You provide a list of pretty much nothing BUT pork, most of which you could not possibly describe as ‘economically stimulating’ stuck in a bill that is supposed to be ALL ABOUT stimulating the economy and you say Republicans should be castigated for voting against it?
    I say bully for them. I hope the Senate holds firm and filibusters this vile piece of crap into the dustbin of history.
    By the way, listing something in as positive a light as possible doesn’t change what it actually does. How does increasing food stamp limits stimulate the economy? Why is it the government’s responsibility to “expand broadband internet access across rural America?” And how does that stimulate the economy? We used to have a system called “the market” that did those things. How do “improvements to the criminal justice system” stimulate the economy? And are you certain that the proposals in the bill would be unanimously recognized as “improvements?” Is it the government’s responsibility to fund “science research?” Since the largest chunk of that research is targeted at liberal zealots pursuing Global Warming doomsday scenarios, again, you lack universal agreement that the funding is APPROPRIATE ON ITS OWN MERITS! Much less that it “stimulates the economy.”
    The most hilarious thing about this post is that it actually illustrates quite beautifully exactly the opposite of what the author intended.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    Looks like all pork to me. You just punched up the wording.
    An increase in the maximum benefit under the former food stamp program (now called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP) (i.e. vote buying and bona fide socialism)
    An expansion of broadband internet access to rural areas of America; (pork for telecom companies)
    # Programs to improve infrastructure and develop rural communities; (construction make-work — ditch digging and refilling)
    # Improvements to the criminal justice system; (pork to prison corporations, the Bar Association and LEO unions)
    # funding for science and technology research; (academia pork)
    # Funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services; (ACORN socialism funding)
    # Funding to repair, maintain and renovate the Department of Defense (DoD) facilities; (construction make-work)
    etc etc etc

  • Your Name

    Aziz Poonawalla,
    I would still be interested in your answer. Do you or do you not think the above is pork? If it is pork, are people wrong to criticize it?

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