S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The road to economic recovery will not be easy.

[2/10/09] The U.S. Senate will pass a so-called stimulus package on Tuesday afternoon, in all likelihood clearing the way for the House and Senate bills to then be reconciled. That will not be easy. The first part of the bill's journey has been marked by a number of reversals of fortune.

My senator, John Cornyn (R-TX), was absent for a key vote on the stimulus package Monday. Like many of his vocal conservatives he was having none of it, literally. Only Republican Senators Collins, Spector and Snowe voted for the bill. According to Think Progress,

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) was the only Senator not to vote yesterday on the economic recovery package. (Judd Gregg had recused himself.) “He was at a New York gathering of prominent media conservatives and Wall Street Republican donors called the Monday Meeting, held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown Manhattan.”

The two bills have similarities and major differences, according to the Congressional Quarterly. They are about the same size and contain both tax cuts and spending measures. The Senate bill has a patch for the AMT, half the amount the House put into the state fiscal stabilization fund, and lacks the $14 billion included by the House for school construction. Highway funding must be obligated within 90 days in the House version, and in 180 days in the Senate version.

Congressional action is on a speedy track because Democrats control both the chambers, and because President Obama is making clear that the economic picture is very bleak right now, according to Josh Gerstein at Politico. Howard Kurtz at the WaPo characterized President Obama's first prime time news conference as "serious and expansive." While Congress is doing its thing on Tuesday, President Obama is on the road again to sell his legislation, this time to Ft. Myers, Fla. In a show of bipartisanship he will be joined by Republican Governor, Charlie Christ and Republican Senator Mel Martinez.

The road to economic recovery will be long and difficult, the President says. And it is still getting worse, with GM announcing breathtaking cuts in its work force. But I have faith in this brand new President, with his awesome intelligence, and in his top-notch team of advisers and Cabinet heads.

See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject for Tuesday: "Congressional Support and Opposition to the Obama administration"

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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