Video: GOP leader tosses stimulus bill on House floor in disgust
David Edwards and Jeremy Gantz
Published: Friday February 13, 2009

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A simple "nay" vote wasn't enough for Republican Congressman John Boehner this afternoon, as the $787 billion stimulus package headed toward passage: While speaking before C-SPAN cameras, the House leader had to toss all 1,073 pages of the bill onto the august chamber's floor in disgust.

Holding a massive white stack of paper in his hand, Boehner registered his disdain -- shared by every other Republican House member, all of whom voted against the bill -- by noting that no one has read it.

"Here I have 1,100 pages not one member of this body has read. Not one. There may be a staffer in the Appropriations Committee that read all of this last night. Not one member's read this," Boehner said. "What happened to the promise that we're going to let the American people see what's in this bill for 48 hours?"

President Obama's Democratic allies powered the bill to a 246-183 victory, but not one of the president's Republican critics broke ranks to support the measure, as attention shifted to a likely Senate vote late in the day.

Supporters and opponents of the package alike predicted full passage of the package -- a blend of tax cuts, aid to the least well off, and investment in infrastructure, education and energy -- by Obama's February 16 target date.

Obama has called the legislation "only the beginning" of his efforts to rescue the crippled economy, but Boehner's speech on the House's floor today made it sound like the beginning (or extension) of a deeply partisan era.

"Our [Republican] ideas weren't considered," Boehner said. "We weren't allowed in the room. We weren't allowed to participate at all. And all the talk about bipartisanship that we have heard over the last several months went down the drain."

With wire reports.

This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast Feb. 13, 2009.

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