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Republicans Block Infrastructure Spending Amendments

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They ask for more of it and then they block it?

Who’s playing politics again?

From AP:

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked Democrats from adding $25 billion for highways, mass transit, and water projects to President Barack Obama’s economic recovery program.

Already unhappy over the size of the measure, Republicans insisted additional infrastructure projects be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the bill.

But the Democratic amendment garnered 58 votes, just shy of the supermajority needed under Senate budget rules, and many more efforts to increase the measure’s size are sure to follow.

I agree that cutting things that appear unnecessary out of the bill is fine, but Republicans need to fill them in with things other than tax cuts. Because if that’s all Republicans keep pushing, Obama has every reason to ignore them.

So what’s their alternative plan?

Well, instead of allowing folks to readjust their existing mortgages, Republicans want to incent people to buy homes…

Officials said the GOP was uniting behind a proposal designed to give banks an incentive to make loans at rates currently estimated at 4 percent to 4.5 percent. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were seized by the federal government in September, would be required to purchase the mortgages once banks have made them to consumers.

Officials said loans to creditworthy borrowers on primary residences with a mortgage of up to $625,000 would qualify, including those seeking to refinance their current loans.

Separately, Republican officials said they intended to press for a $15,000 tax credit for home buyers through the end of the year. Current law permits a $7,500 tax break and limits it to first-time home buyers.

Sorry, but isn’t this the same practice that Republicans kept hammering Dems on why we got into the sub-prime mess in the first place?

And they think doubling tax cuts to have more folks go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt will be better for the economy than targeted investment on infrastructure?

How in the world is that more stimulative?

And to that point, Governors on both sides of the aisles seem to be fully behind the current stimulus package as is…

Nineteen Democratic and Republican governors, meanwhile, cited frozen credit markets and rising unemployment in urging lawmakers to resolve their differences and asking Obama to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk. The governors said the money it provides for public education, health care and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure will create and preserve jobs while making a sound investment in the country’s long-term economic interests.

“While we all believe in the importance of free markets, we believe that the markets today need stimulating,” the governors told Obama in a letter dated Monday. Among the signers are Democrats Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Republicans Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Charlie Crist of Florida.

More as it develops…