by Kevin Allman
The Times-Picayune, yesterday:
CAO MAY CAST LONE GOP VOTE FOR STIMULUS
U.S. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-New Orleans, said Wednesday he is likely to vote for the economic stimulus bill when it comes to a vote, probably today or Friday, even if he is the only Republican member of the House to do so.
"I'm voting along what my conscience dictates and the needs of the 2nd Congressional District dictate, even if I were to be the only member of the GOP to vote for the stimulus package," he said.
"Even though it is going to be a humongous bill, even though we will be in debt for years, I believe that more likely than not, I will vote for it because the 2nd Congressional District needs a stimulus package."
Cao joined every other Republican and 11 Democrats late last month in opposing the economic recovery plan that passed the House on a vote of 244 to 188. But Cao made it clear at the time that he was hoping a better bill would emerge from the Senate, and a House-Senate conference committee, that would enable him to vote for a stimulus package he believes the nation and his district desperately need.
On Wednesday, that conference committee was wrangling over the details of the mammoth $800 billion spending bill and Cao, like other members, knew they were going to have to vote on final passage without knowing a lot of those details.
It would, the former Jesuit seminarian said, be a "leap of faith, but that's what I have been doing most of my life."
"A lot of the provisions in the bill will be good for the district, because we need almost everything," he said. "You name it, we need it."
The Times-Picayune, about half an hour ago:
Handing the new administration a big win, the House Friday passed President Barack Obama's $787 billion plan to resuscitate the economy.
The bill was passed 246-183 with no Republican help. It now goes to the Senate where a vote was possible late Friday to meet a deadline of passing the plan before a recess begins next week.
New Orleans Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao was the only Republican member who had signaled a willingness to support the bill, but he apparently reversed course.