Boehner and House Republicans Open to Second, Tax-Cutting Stimulus

By Josiah Ryan | March 12, 2009 | 7:03 PM EDT

House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) (AP Photo)

( - House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is open to a second, tax-cutting economic stimulus package but only if it is designed to create jobs rather than expand the size of government, he told on Thursday.
Despite the fact that only three congressional Republicans voted for the Democrats’ first $787-billion stimulus package, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Tuesday that she was keeping the door open to the possibility of crafting another stimulus package.
Democratic senators told that while they have not ruled out a second stimulus package, they want to see how the first package works before making a decision about a second plan.
“Hey, if it’s about allowing American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earned, we have something to talk about,” Boehner said when asked what he thought about the idea of a second stimulus package.  “If it’s about growing the size of government and more wasteful Washington spending, count me out.”
“We have to keep the door open to see how it goes,” Pelosi told reporters Tuesday when asked if the country needed another stimulus package.
But at her weekly press conference on Wednesday, Pelosi backed away from the idea when a reporter asked, “Will there be a second stimulus--yes or no?’
“I know people have made suggestions that we should be ready to do something, but I really would like to see how this stimulus package plays out,” said Pelosi. “I think it’s important that the American people and the Congress of the United States have confidence in the recovery package that we have passed.” 
Democratic senators who spoke to about a possible second stimulus package said they are taking a wait-and-see attitude.
“I don’t want to say I wouldn’t,” Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) told “But I think it’s way to early to talk about that, and certainly I wouldn’t support one unless I knew how the first stimulus package turned out.”
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Nelson said when why he thought Pelosi had brought up the idea of a second package so quickly after the first one was passed.
“I think we have to wait and see what the first one does,” Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) told
“We got to wait and see what the first stimulus package does,” said Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.).
But Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the ranking member of the House Committee on the Budget, said he would favor another stimulus package if it focused on tax cuts.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Look, we have got to get this economy growing. We have got to get people back to work.  But what we also have learned is, if this first stimulus didn’t work -- by the very admission that you need a second stimulus -- we shouldn’t be repeating the same mistakes.”
“Let’s focus on what works,” said Ryan. “What we know works is not based on ideologies. It’s based on evidence: reducing tax rates on entrepreneurs and small businesses to encourage people to make investments, to hire people.”
At the same press conference, House Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) also indicated he would support a stimulus package if it cuts taxes.