House Democrats take stand against special interests in H.R. 1, the stimulus package: no aid for zoos and aquariums

Perhaps as a sign of their willingness to follow President Obama’s lead in saying no to special interests, House Democrats passed a stimulus bill yesterday, H.R. 1, that, in unusually clear language, prohibits use of any of the 835 billion dollar stimulus package for zoos, aquariums, swimming pools, golf, casinos and other gambling establishments.

The vote in the House was straight along party lines.  Republicans criticize the bill on numerous grounds including the flat prohibition against using any of the stimulus package for “other gambling establishments,” fearing that many if not all financial institutions will fall under the definition of “gambling establishment.”

Congressional observers say that this is the first time in recent memory that Congress has stood firm against such powerful special interests.  After the vote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other democratic congressional leaders were heard chanting, “Yes we can!  Yes we can.!”

The text of H.R. 1 that shuts the door on aid to zoos, swimming pools, aquariums, golf and gambling appears below.


2 None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made

3 available in this Act may be used for any casino or other

4 gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or

5 swimming pool.