WASHINGTON — The day after President Obama signed the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) took to the airwaves to offer voters a different kind of new deal.
“If the American people will let the Republicans back in charge,” said Gohmert on the Feb. 19 episode of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, “the 60 percent of this bill that won’t be spent until after the next election, we’ll cut it off and let it go to the Americans.”
That idea didn’t immediately take. In February, public support for the economic stimulus package that passed with no Republican votes in the House and only three (including that of Sen. Arlen Specter, who later switched parties) in the Senate, was above 50 percent. The March 31 special election for New York’s upstate 20th congressional district, an early test of a hard-edged Republican message opposing the stimulus, ended with an upset victory for now-Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.).
But as unemployment numbers rise, and as the Obama administration is forced to admit that its early projections of what the stimulus package would achieve were overly optimistic, Republicans are returning to that February vote and hanging it around the necks of vulnerable Democrats.
Read more at The Washington Independent, The Colorado Independent’s sister site in D.C.