Does Paul Hodes Agree With His Democrat Colleague’s Assessment?
WASHINGTON – In a remarkable admission, U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) became one of the first senior Democrats to admit, publicly, that the stimulus did not work as the Democrats had initially predicted it would.
Conrad, chairman of the influential Senate Budget Committee, told The Hill yesterday that “to the extent that I would have criticism of the stimulus, it was that it didn’t sufficiently meet the three-T test: ‘targeted, timely, temporary.’”
Of course, Conrad’s admission today echoes the same objections raised by Republicans nine months ago – and ignored by Democrats – when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) rammed the trillion-dollar stimulus bill through to the President’s desk in February.
In an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News on February 12, 2009, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman (NRSC) U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) outlined his specific opposition to the stimulus, writing: “The administration said it wanted a bill that was timely, targeted and temporary. If the bill had reflected that spirit, the president's goal of 80 votes in the Senate might well have been in reach.”
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also pointed out that “This unprecedented spending of taxpayer dollars is not timely, targeted nor temporary and it fails to address the underlying problems with the economy.”
“After nearly 10 months and a trillion dollars of borrowed taxpayer money, Kent Conrad is finally agreeing with what Republicans have been saying since this massive bill was first introduced in Congress back in February. Paul Hodes, however, remains conspicuously silent regarding the massive spending bill that he championed,” said NRSC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand.
Notably, Conrad’s comments come as Democrats attempt to push a two-thousand page, multi-trillion dollar government takeover of health care through the Senate before Christmas. Rushing such a lengthy bill through Congress on an artificial timeline was another GOP concern with the stimulus, as Chairman Cornyn pointed out in a television interview on Bloomberg back in February.
“As we have seen with the stimulus boondoggle, the federal government is not able to adequately oversee major spending projects in a responsible manner, and yet Democrats continue pushing their government-run health care bill through the Senate at a reckless pace,” Wilkerson Marchand continued. “For the sake of the American taxpayers on the hook for this out-of-control spending, Paul Hodes needs to urge his would-be Democrat colleagues to take note of the lessons from the failed stimulus legislation and oppose his political party’s attempt to rush a government takeover of health care through Congress.”