Senate Republicans Say They Have ‘Better Ideas’ on Stimulating Economy

By Susan Jones | January 29, 2009 | 11:28 AM EST

( – If every Republican senator opposes President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, it probably won't pass, a liberal advocacy group said in a message to supporters on Thursday.
“GOP leaders will get their way—unless we can convince a few Republican senators who are on the fence,” said
The group said it has put together a new ad calling on “swing-state senators to get behind Obama’s economic recovery plan.”
Senate Republicans say they might get behind the plan if it incorporates Republican amendments.
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Republican senators want to make the bill more like the package that President Obama originally proposed –“40 percent tax relief, no wasteful spending, and a bipartisan approach.”
McConnell said Republicans and Democrats agree on the need to strengthen the economy and create jobs. But the Democrats’ bill falls short in key areas, he said, including housing.
“My colleagues will have better ideas to stimulate home ownership,” McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor.
He also said taxpayers must be allowed to keep more of the money they earn. “Republicans believe that letting individuals and businesses keep more of what they earn will have a quicker stimulative effect than having the government spend it on projects, particularly ones that are likely to be delayed for three to four years.
“And finally, we should not be spending taxpayer dollars we don’t have on programs we don’t need,” McConnell said.
McConnell said senators must ask themselves if projects included in the bill are necessary; if they will stimulate the economy and create jobs; and if taxpayers should be asked to foot the bill for those projects.
McConnell conceded that for Republican amendments to pass, “We need support from our friends across the aisle.”
After the House passed the stimulus package on Thursday night, President Obama indicated that he expects it to undergo changes in the Senate. "I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan before it gets to my desk," Obama said in a statement.