Wisconsin delegation votes along party lines in passing Obama's $819 billion spending plan
Wisconsin's five Democrats voted yes, and the state's three Republicans voted no when the U.S. House passed its $819 billion economic stimulus plan Wednesday night. The vote was 244-188.
There was almost no GOP support, and all but 11 Democrats pushed it through.
Appropriations chairman U.S. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., of Wausau said doing nothing would be catastrophic. But he did grant a few concessions to GOP critics, like dropping $200 million to spruce up Washington's National Mall.
Still, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., of Janesville said the package has a lot more wasteful spending that will drive up deficits and create relatively few jobs.
"We can do better than this," said Ryan. He tried by proposing a GOP alternative package which failed.
The approved version includes tax cuts, plus credits for those who don't pay income taxes.
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., of Milwaukee says that's not welfare. She said the poor are the most likely to pump whatever money they get into the economy and buy much-needed things like new stoves.
The Senate will take up the package next week and some major changes are expected.
The House version gives Wisconsin $564 million for road and bridge improvements, $317 million for school renovations, $157 million for sewer systems, and much, much more.
Lawmakers say the state will also get aid to improve broadband Internet access in rural areas, expand the use of high-tech medical records, and boost alternative energy.