Thursday, February 7, 2008

John McCain Ignores Economic Stimulus Vote

In his whirlwind campaign in economically-strapped Michigan in January, Republican presidential front runner John McCain tried to generate interest in his campaign by talking to Michigan voters about jobs and the economy.

His recent actions in failing to be present for a vote on an economic stimulus package suggest that he really doesn't care about the economy or working families that much.

According to the Associated Press, McCain missed yesterday's vote in the Senate on an economic stimulus package that would have provided direct economic relief to working families, expanding the recipients of the rebates to include millions of seniors and disabled veterans excluded in the White House proposal.

The bill included aid to low income families facing rising home heating costs and an extension of unemployment benefits for the long-termed unemployed, currently estimated at 1.4 million workers.

Republican Senators led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) filibustered the economic stimulus package.

Eight Republicans facing tough reelection battles this year joined with 48 Democrats and two independents to end the filibuster and force a vote on passage of the bill, totaling 58. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was forced to switch his vote before the voting closed in order to maintain control of the bill by Senate rules.

John McCain reportedly had promised to make the Senate vote on the package, but failed to appear.

He could have been the deciding vote to end the filibuster and force an up-or-down vote on the package which probably would have passed and speeded up economic relief to millions of working families.

In a moment when working families needed someone to stand with them and fight with them for relief, McCain opted not to decide. He chose to play politics in order to please the right-wing extremists in his party.

He's no "maverick." He's just another Republican politician sticking it to working people.

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