Everyone gets it but the out-of-touch Republicans in Congress in thrall to Ayn Rand. Will they pay any price at all?
'No' Vote On Stimulus Package Irks Those 'In The Trenches'
By James Oliphant
February 3, 2009
Cape Coral, Fla. — Jim Burch is a proud man from a proud town. "It breaks my heart to say we need help," he says.
And so Burch, the mayor of Cape Coral, was not happy when his congressman, Rep. Connie Mack, voted against the $819-billion stimulus package last week, joining every other Republican House member in opposing the bill.
"Politics has no business where the people and the despair I see in my city are concerned," said Burch, who had traveled to Washington last month to press for passage of the stimulus bill.
Burch's unhappiness shows the tension over the massive spending and tax-cut bill between Republicans in Congress, who generally oppose the legislation as it is now formulated, and state and local officials, who say their communities need an infusion of federal money.
The mayor, whose office is nonpartisan, said the package could provide millions of dollars for local projects. The city might be able restart the upgrade of its sewer and water systems, a project that ended several months ago for lack of funds, taking more than 1,000 jobs with it.
Many local Republicans disagree with Mack's vote. Ray Judah, a Lee County commissioner, said he hoped Mack would "recognize the critical need for infusion of funds for capital projects and job creation." Judah said that local boards are the ones "in the trenches . . . who clearly understand the importance" of the package.
Republican state Rep. Gary Aubuchon added that stimulus dollars would "enable commercial development and reduce unemployment." The state's highest-profile Republican, Gov. Charlie Crist, has been an advocate for the package, which could send as much as $10 billion to Florida.