Tuesday, 23 February 2010

From NY Times: 'In Passage of Jobs Measure, a Glimpse of Bipartisanship' - Carl Hulse

I realised yesterday that I could download a New York Times Application for my Ipod Touch which updates new articles straight to my device. Its free so all I did was download it and today I came across this article by Carl Hulse; I urge you all to buy the Touch!


After yesterday's class about how Republicans are now even more so refusing to cooperate with Democrats and Bipartisanship a thing of the past, it was refreshing to read this. The article reports the decision of five senators voting for the passage of a '$15 million job creation measure', 62 votes to 30 - making their votes critical to bring the bill to the floor and preventing a filibuster.

One of the Republican senators who voted for the measure was Scott Brown, newly elected senator of Massachusetts who broke the 57 year trend of democratic voting in the state. Previously when scouring the internet for Tea Party articles I have sometimes come across Brown's name and noted that possibly, to Tea Party Patriots he represents a hope. However, Brown has admitted publicly that he knows nothing about the movement. His initiatives include lowering taxes, which are integral to the TPM but his choice to disassociate himself from the fringe group may suggest potential opportunity for further partisanship.

This article,


published yesterday after the job measure voting, notes of recent Tea Party anger about his decision to vote. It would seem that such Tea Party dissapproval is surfacing because there is now a stigma attached to the Obama administration. Any Bipartisanship is seen as a negative aspect of government to Republicans and detracts from Obama's 'getting nothing done' image.

The $15 million included in the Bill is designated to be spent partly on tax-cuts which to many Republicans is a significant part of their agenda. Anger has struck many on the Right regarding unemployment too, which the bill proposes to tackle in creating more jobs within the public, highways and construction sector. Hulse reports that Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine also voted for the measure, mostly because of the business-oriented provisions that were included. She says:

“We have to demonstrate outside the Beltway and to Americans that we need to move forward initiatives that are going to benefit small businesses and individuals in a tough economy".

This rhetoric of small businesses and the individual is representaitve of the Republican 'individualist' sentiment that we have talked about in class. Measures that deal with localised issues rather than national ones seem to have won these Republican senators over.

1 comment:

  1. This rare example of bi-partisanship is a thought-provoking choice of post. It sent me scurrying to take a look at the detail of the Republicans who crossed the line in order to avoid a filibuster. Although all the attention was focused on Scott Brown (who I suspect will face an uphill struggle to hang on to his Massachusetts seat at the next election), two of the remaining four Reps to vote in favour (Christopher Bond, MO and George Voinovich, OH) are retiring at the next election. Being relieved of concerns regarding one's future career certainly frees a politician to engage with an issue outside of the constraints imposed by the political 'machine'.

    The remaining Republican 'mavericks' were Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins - moderates from Maine. Snowe is also one of three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee who tried to work out a bipartisan deal on Healthcare. Based on her voting record, she is the most likely to break from the GOP and vote with the Democrats. Looking at her background she is an influential moderate voice in Washington and is highly regarded by both the press and the Maine electorate. A good example of how important demographics are within the American political system. Maine's population is relatively small, white, old, poor and rural so more likely to be socially conservative but economically liberal.


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