GOP Senate whip: Rewrite stimulus 'from scratch'
Now that the House of Representatives has passed President Obama's $800 billion stimulus plan without a single Republican voting in favor, all eyes are on the Senate, where the Democrats need to peel off at least a couple of Republican votes to avoid a filibuster.
Senate minority whip John Kyl (R-AZ) took a hard line against the legislation during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. He told host Chris Wallace, "It's very wasteful, it spends way too much money ... and it's ineffective. ... I see support in the Senate actually eroding. ... The basic approach of this bill, we believe is wrong."
"What is the minimum that you would need to see in changes in this package to get significant Republican support?" Wallace asked.
"We're not talking about little things at the margins," Kyl replied. "There would be major structural changes that would have to occur."
Kyl suggested that he sees the centerpieces of the current legislation -- rebates to the working poor who do not earn enough to pay federal taxes, the creation of new government programs, and substantial aid to the states -- as inefficient and unnecessary. He hinted that a Republican filibuster is likely unless the bill is rewritten to focus on tax cuts and some kind of housing bailout.
"I think the theory of it is if you throw enough money, somehow or other it will trickle down to people and that will help stimulate the economy," Kyl charged, resorting to precisly the kind of language that is most often used by Democrats when describing tax cuts for affluent Americans and corporations.
"I think you have to start from scratch and reconstruct this to start with the problem that created the entire cascade of events that have occurred here -- the housing collapse," Kyl offered as his alternative. "Start with housing first, let people keep more of their own money, and in that way really provide some stimulus and a better hope for the future."
This video is from Fox's Fox News Sunday, broadcast Feb. 1, 2009.
Download video via RawReplay.com