The New York Times writes, "Without a single Republican vote, President Obama won House approval on Wednesday for an $819 billion economic recovery plan as Congressional Democrats sought to temper their own differences over the enormous package of tax cuts and spending… All but 11 Democrats voted for the plan, and 177 Republicans voted against it. The 244-to-188 vote came a day after Mr. Obama traveled to Capitol Hill to seek Republican backing, if not for the package then on other issues to come."
The Wall Street Journal adds, "The 244-188 vote was not what Mr. Obama had hoped for. A week of presidential wooing -- including a visit to the Capitol, a return visit to the White House by moderate House Republicans and a bipartisan cocktail party Wednesday night -- did not yield a single Republican vote."
The Washington Post: "Some moderate Republicans who opposed the bill left open the chance of supporting the final version if the White House and Senate address their concerns about spending. And Democrats remain hopeful of securing a more bipartisan result in the Senate, where committee action has driven up the cost as the amount of tax relief has increased, something Republicans have demanded before they will consider offering their support."
The Boston Globe: "Members of both parties said that despite Obama's overtures to Republicans -- including a trip this week to Capitol Hill to woo members in person -- the congressional leadership of both parties approached the stimulus legislation with the same unrelenting partisan tactics Obama attacked during his campaign and inaugural address."
Roll Call writes that congressional Republicans "have placed a very large bet" by voting against the stimulus -- something it says is "fraught with political risk." Minority Leader John "Boehner has sought to avoid the label of the 'party of no' and push alternatives, but his Conference appears unwilling to back anything but another round of tax cuts. That had Democrats saying Republicans are stuck in the past by opposing the package while the nation is in crisis."
Meanwhile, a coalition of liberal groups, including Americans United for Change, MoveOn.org Political Action, AFSCME and SEIU, are launching up a $4-5 million ad campaign targeting Republican senators to support the stimulus as it moves to the Senate. The ad will run in DC as well in the home states of: Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
The Senate is expected to vote today on SCHIP, the "legislation that would spend $31.5 billion more on a children's health insurance program over the next 4 1/2 years," the AP says. "The additional money would help about 4 million uninsured children get coverage and draw 2.4 million more kids into the program who otherwise could get private coverage."
Yet another ethics problem for Allan Mollohan (D-WV)? It centers on campaign funds and local boosters, Roll Call writes.