HOUSE REPUBLICANS, 98% ON BOARD…. Yesterday, the House Republican caucus released a list of “what they call wasteful provisions in the Senate version of the nearly $900 billion stimulus bill that is being debated.” It is, to be sure, a pretty long list, identifying 32 specific spending measures that the GOP considers either wasteful, lacking stimulative value, or both.
Now, putting aside the merit of the provisions, I went ahead and did some back-of-the-envelope math, adding up the grand total of all of the measures in question. I came up with a total of roughly $18.7 billion.
That is obviously a lot of money. What’s more, it’s a much larger sum than House Republicans were complaining about last week (GOP staffers no doubt went back to look for additional “waste”).
But we’re still left with the same problem we had yesterday — Obama said policymakers shouldn’t “let very modest differences get in the way of the overall [stimulus] package moving forward swiftly,” and the differences really are modest.
While $18.7 billion is a serious chunk of change, it’s also just 2% of the $884.5 billion package under consideration in the Senate.
In other words, after House Republicans carefully combed through the bill, searching for anything they could deem “wasteful,” and finding 32 specific measures they found offensive, the GOP lawmakers are still comfortable with 98% of the Democrats’ bill.
After screaming “pork!” and “waste!” non-stop for weeks, these guys really should have been able to come up with more than just 2% of the bill. A list like this one is practically an endorsement of the administration’s agenda.