The Grey Power people in the US are using sunlight as the disinfectant on Republican actions on the economic stimulus bill, AARP warns Republicans on stimulus.
AARP is increasing pressure on GOP lawmakers to support the stimulus package. The powerful seniors’ lobby has designated the House-Senate stimulus bill as its first “key vote” of 2009 and will record results state-by-state on a new Web site so its 40 million members can track how their senators and representatives voted. The AARP push comes on the heels of heavy pro-stimulus lobbying by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions, meaning vulnerable Republicans who vote “no” will have upset a trio of the most powerful interests in Washington.
AARP is among the many interest groups who’ve been working to influence the shape of the stimulus, with members bombarding the White House and Congress with more than 262,000 phone calls and emails. The final conference report on the $789 billion stimulus should clear both chambers by Friday and may be signed by President Barack Obama by Monday. “The gravity of the current economic crisis demands swift and thoughtful enactment of legislation that spurs job growth and provides immediate assistance to the millions who are struggling,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s Executive Vice President said in a statement Wednesday.
After the final stimulus vote, AARP will notify its membership and urge them to express thanks or disappointment with how their members voted. The real pressure, however, comes from the year-end summary the group will send members, reminding them right before Election Day of members’ voting record on the issues that matter to the 50+ set. Like many interest groups, AARP has used the “key vote” stick for years – including with powerful results during last year’s stimulus.
But they’ve also launched a new “Government Watch” page on their Web site, allowing members to track AARP issues on the Hill in real time.