Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why amending the so called stimulus is a lost cause.

There are over 300 outstanding amendments on the Senate version of the massive-increase-in-government-spending bill that had bipartisan opposition in the house earlier. I think Republicans are wasting their time. Even if they could get every one of their amendments agreed to (and they won't) I don't trust the conference process to leave them in.

McCain for instance had a fantastic amendment that made the government curtail spending following two quarters of consecutive growth (to show that it's a temporary stimulus and not just a grab bag of pork). This was, of course, rejected by the Democrat controlled Senate, but even if it were accepted there's no reason to think it would make it into the final bill.

Just reject this bag of pork and get the House working on a real stimulus bill. At the same time the RSC or RCC leadership should arrange to meet with the House Democrats complaining about this bill and come up with a decent stimulus bill that has a chance of getting all of them plus some more Democrats and propose it to Obama as a bipartisan way out of this. He has already claimed that there is bipartisan agreement that we need to push something through fast, that he wants a bipartisan bill, and that the differences in position between him and the Republicans is minor. It would be politically devastating for him to take a bill written by Republicans with the support of 20 Democrats in the House and say he wouldn't support it.

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