By Chris Wright, The News On 6
UNDATED -- Before heading to the U.S. Senate, the stimulus bill first had to pass the House. It did, but it was not a bipartisan effort.
Not a single Republican voted for the stimulus.
Four of five Oklahoma representatives said no to the proposed $819 billion stimulus. The naysayers would like to see a bill with less spending, and more tax cuts.
The stimulus passed the House comfortably Monday night, but not without objections from its opposition.
Every Republican voted no, including Oklahoma Rep. Mary Fallin.
"We thought that tax cuts, giving money back to taxpayers and businesses, to stimulate the economy, was the best form of quick economic stimulus we should be looking at," Fallin said.
Besides problems with the lack of tax cuts, Republicans also voiced concerns about what they say is too much wasteful spending on things like sex education, the arts and $600 million for new cars for Washington officials.
Also, they contend there is not enough money for infrastructure, only $43 billion. Opponents had hoped a larger percentage would be used for road, bridges and other projects.
On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the stimulus, saying Republicans helped draft it.
"We reached out to the Republicans all along the way, and they know it," Pelosi said. " ... Some of the tax provisions were their suggestions."
Dan Boren was the lone Oklahoma congressman to cast his lot in favor of the stimulus. He said it's not a bill that he would have drafted, but believes it will create much-needed jobs.
"It's easy to pick something out that looks bad for the news, and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, can you believe the money's going here?' and then not look at the overall macro problem, which is a terrible, terrible economy," said Boren, a Democrat.
Boren said the stimulus will jumpstart the economy, but it will need more bipartisan support if it is to be passed by the Senate.
Congressman John Sullivan also strongly opposes the stimulus. He said the proposal "spends hundreds of billions we do not have on pet projects we don't need."