McConnell Predicts 3 GOP Votes for Stimulus

Posted February 9, 2009 at 2:58pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the three Republicans who support the chamber’s economic stimulus plan won’t be getting any company this week when the Senate moves to pass the massive $827 billion measure. McConnell said Maine Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) — who helped broker a compromise with Democrats that cut $108 billion from the bill — will likely be the only GOP lawmakers to support the Senate measure. “I’m sure that they believe that they’ve improved the bill. I don’t think they’ve improved enough to garner additional Republican support in the Senate,” McConnell said at a press conference Monday. Still, McConnell indicated that Republicans would not use procedural tactics to block Senate Democrats from sending the bill to conference with the House following his chamber’s likely final passage on Tuesday. Still, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reiterated his threat to delay the upcoming Presidents Day recess if Republicans do not cooperate once the conference report comes back to the Senate, likely late this week. The recess is scheduled to begin on Friday. “If Republicans agree to regular order, there is no reason we can’t do this by the end of the week. That would be the right thing to do for the American people. But if Republicans choose to delay this legislation, I want all of my colleagues to know that we will work through the weekend to responsibly complete this process,” Reid said in a statement. “With action completed by the end of this week, we can return home for next week’s recess to spread the word to our constituents that we have taken the first step on the long road to recovery.”