State GOP twists DiFi’s words on stimulus package

The California Republican Party e-mailed out a news release about an hour ago calling attention to this:

From CRP chairman Ron Nehring (whose name was omitted from the news release, apparently inadvertently):

“It looks like Dianne Feinstein has picked up on something Republicans in Washington have been saying for weeks – that Obama’s spending plan doesn’t do enough to create jobs. Speaking plainly on the Senate floor today, Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), indicated to her Democratic colleagues in the Senate that she ‘reserve[s] the right…to vote against’ the wasteful stimulus legislation because it doesn’t do enough to ‘put those jobs out there.’

“Here in California, where families have been hit especially hard by the housing and economic crises, we need real solutions from the Congress that create jobs and target the root problems of the economic crisis. Instead, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of the liberal congressional leadership have given us a $1 TRILLION spending package loaded with earmarks, pork-barrel spending, and interest group payouts.

“It’s time for Democrats in Washington to truly partner with Republicans and craft a responsible stimulus plan.”

Unfortunately, the facts don’t bear out his claim. Here’s a fuller clip of Feinstein’s remarks:

Clearly, she’s uncomfortable with the bill because she feels it contains too many tax cuts — for which Republicans have been pushing — compared to actual government spending. For the CRP to imply that Feinstein’s concerns in any way dovetail with the GOP’s is disingenuous, if not flat-out dishonest.

UPDATE @ 5:28 P.M. FRIDAY: Feinstein apparently resisted the urge to tell the state GOP where to stick it. Her statement:

“I stand with President Obama and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle in working toward a sensible solution that will move our economy forward and create jobs for the American people. The Economic Recovery bill has changed significantly since this morning, and we have worked together on a bipartisan basis to reduce the package by $110 billion. It will be further vetted in a conference committee next week, and I intend to support it.

“I would like to recognize Senators Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, who have worked tirelessly to negotiate a compromise that will receive the required 60 votes.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • I can’t believe Feinstein said there were too many tax cuts when she was trying to support more. So which one is it for Feinstein too many or too few?

    Los Angeles Times

    From the Los Angeles Times
    Sen. Boxer’s push for multinational tax break goes against party
    The California liberal’s proposal draws Republican votes and Democratic rebukes, illustrating how home-state and political concerns can drag down the party in power.
    By Richard Simon

    February 6, 2009

    Reporting from Washington — File this under “politics” in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”: California Sen. Barbara Boxer, stalwart liberal and frequent antagonist of big business, sided with Republicans to champion a tax break for multinational corporations — and against a majority of her own party.

    Boxer attempted to attach the tax break to the economic stimulus bill, only to be shot down by fellow Democrats.

    Still, the unusual, if not unprecedented, sight of Boxer drawing more votes for one of her proposals from Republicans than from members of her own party underscores a challenge facing President Obama and congressional leaders: Even in a more Democratic Congress, home-state and political needs can crack party unity and produce strange alliances.

    “I do not stand here every day and endorse tax breaks,” Boxer told her colleagues.

    The measure she was pushing, eagerly sought by California’s high-tech industry, would have temporarily cut the tax rate on overseas profits brought back into the country.

    “It’s something that benefits her constituents,” said Dorothy Coleman of the National Assn. of Manufacturers.

    Boxer, in an unusual debate with her Democratic colleagues this week, argued that the measure would generate billions of dollars to create jobs. “At a time that we want to inject dollars into this economy, those dollars are sitting offshore,” she said.

    Several Democrats complained that companies used a similar tax break in 2004 not to create jobs but to benefit their shareholders. Boxer supported that tax cut too.

    “This is a tax gift to those companies that move operations overseas,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

    After Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, a fellow Democrat who chairs the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, spoke against the tax break, Boxer said: “My friend can stand up there and say it didn’t work the last time and it won’t work this time. We have evidence to the contrary.”

    She was even more blunt with Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), who also assailed the tax break. “My friend,” she said, “has it wrong.”

    In an effort to win more support for the measure, she proposed strict conditions on how foreign earnings brought back into the U.S. could be spent. But only seven of her fellow Democrats, including Californian Dianne Feinstein, supported her measure, which was defeated Tuesday night, 55 to 42.

    Boxer last year voted with the majority of her fellow Democrats 99% of the time on party-line votes. So it was a Ripley’s moment when Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a conservative Republican, walked up after the vote to thank Boxer for her efforts. “Wow, that’s different,” she acknowledged in an interview.

    She said she would break with her party when she thinks “it’s the right thing.”

    In fact, she was planning to work with Republican Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, her chief adversary on global warming legislation, on an infrastructure-funding amendment to the stimulus bill.

    “Stimulus makes strange bedfellows,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. “Just as many Republicans are more willing to see the government spend money in order to jump-start the economy, you’re seeing someone like Boxer responding to the needs of her business constituencies.”

    While Boxer has often been at odds with business — she is a leader in the effort to crack down on industrial greenhouse gas emissions — she earned a 100% rating in the last Congress from the Information Technology Industry Council.

    In 2004, she helped lead an unsuccessful fight against new accounting rules for stock options that high-tech companies adamantly wanted halted.

    Bruce Cain, who directs the UC Washington Center, said Boxer’s break from most of her fellow Democrats could be an honest disagreement about the effect of the earlier tax cut “combined with an effort to be bipartisan, which never hurts when you have a reelection looming in the future and Obama spirit fills the air.”

    But bipartisanship is likely to go only so far when the parties already are looking ahead to the next election.

    Indeed, even though Boxer cosponsored the tax break with Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), she took issue with him when he called for more time to consider whether the overall stimulus bill would achieve its goal.

    “Instead of working together, our friends on the other side come out, one after the other, with the same talking points: ‘The Democrats are irresponsible,’ ” said Boxer, who faces reelection next year. “Well, I ask: Who is irresponsible?”


  • Theo

    The Republicans lying about something? OMG. Next thing you’ll say is that the sky is blue.

  • Herman Hudson

    Hey, you people the president have reached across to the republicans. If the President offer 20% of something to them they will want 40%.
    They the Republicans have no real desire to help this President. They would let our country remain in this mess rather than help this President.