Obama's first 100 days start early - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
Jakarta Expat's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 17,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Obama's first 100 days start early

Obama's first 100 days start early

Three weeks before the election, Barack Obama is going through something of a dress rehearsal for his first 100 days in office.

Buoyed by a slew of recent polls showing that the economy has boosted Obama (Ill.) and Democrats in the House and Senate, Democratic leaders in Congress are aggressively posturing to steamroll Republicans over the economy in the coming weeks.

Obama’s unveiling of an economic recovery package on Monday that was closely coordinated with leaders on Capitol Hill amid the nation’s financial crisis represented a passing of the torch for the Democratic Party.

In the wake of its devastating 2004 electoral losses, the Democratic Party was scrambling for its identity. After Democrats grabbed control of Congress two years later, the faces of the party became House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Now, following a bitter primary and concerns raised in Democratic circles about their candidate’s experience, the party is sold on Obama — much more than it was on Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) four years ago.

And while they have made it clear that they want Obama in the driver’s seat, congressional Democrats are providing the horsepower for a potential $300 billion economic stimulus bill that could be five times the size of the package approved by the House in September. They’re calling it an “economic recovery” plan instead of a stimulus, and would fill it with Democratic priorities ranging from an extension of unemployment benefits to infrastructure spending.

Some aides are even floating trade-offs that might sweeten the pot for Senate Republicans and President Bush, including the Colombia free trade agreement, long seen as a possible lame-duck item.

Whether Democrats actually intend to even introduce a stimulus bill before the next Congress and president take office is an open question. Even with a Democratic landslide in November, moving a new stimulus bill could be difficult given the Democrats’ narrow 51-49 edge in the Senate and Bush’s veto power.

“Economic, not political, conditions will drive the pace of another economic recovery package,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the assistant to the Speaker. “It could be in a week, it could be in a month, it could be in three months. Right now we need to let the $700 billion get to work, and we need to hold these hearings to find out what exactly the best way forward is from here.”

Pelosi has said the House will hold a number of hearings on the economic recovery package throughout November, but aides said it was still up in the air whether the majority would push for passage of a bill in the 110th Congress.

Still, Democrats believe merely talking now about doing a stimulus or economic recovery plan in the post-election session boosts chances for Obama and congressional Democrats at the polls by highlighting what they say are the GOP’s failures to regulate the financial markets and ambivalence toward supporting measures for the middle class.

“Do we really think that the president’s just going to sign this on his way out the door?” said one Democratic aide. “Of course not. And it would not be wise of us to hand him that gun and then let him shoot us with it.

“This is all window dressing and an election strategy,” the aide continued. “It shows that Democrats are taking this issue seriously. And it sets Obama up for a huge victory right out of the gate. Whatever needs to happen after Nov. 4 won’t be decided until after Nov. 4.”

Republicans, meanwhile, are scrambling.

Struggling to keep their losses in the House and Senate as minimal as possible even as economic problems have boosted Democratic momentum, GOP leaders have shifted from opposing the idea of a stimulus bill to opposing the kind of stimulus Democrats are urging.

House Republican leaders on Tuesday escalated their attack on the Democrats’ plan, calling it a “pork-laden spending spree,” according to Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). GOP officials are pushing an alternative stimulus plan of capital gains tax cuts and a hastened pace for offshore drilling.

Becerra said Democrats are letting Obama steer the ship.

“I think the reason that you’re now seeing so much consistency in the Democratic message is that we now have a sense of the fundamental problems that are really causing the economy to be in a rut,” Becerra said. “And with Obama as the lead messenger here, we’re really seeing a drive to say that this next solution has to be about the middle class.”

Democrats acknowledge there are reasons not to move a stimulus bill in a lame-duck session even if their best hopes for Election Day are realized. Lame-duck Republicans would have little reason to cooperate, and it might also be better to wait for next year, when a President Obama could take credit and gain valuable momentum. Furthermore, Pelosi showed in early 2007 that she likes to get Congress off to a running start by passing a slew of popular pieces of legislation.

As a result, the prevailing wisdom in Democratic circles is to keep talking about the need for a stimulus package but hold out until a Democratic president takes office in January to move one.

“We keep talking about a lame duck, but after the election there’s almost less of an incentive to do much, especially with this president still in office,” a senior Democratic leadership aide said. “Aside from talking about this now, I’m not sure there’s much we do after the election except holding the hearings and, hopefully, preparing to work with President Obama.”

But Democrats may have a bargaining chip to play with the White House, in the form of the stalled Colombia free trade agreement, a huge priority for Bush. It could be moved with an economic stimulus plan and legislation overhauling the trade adjustment assistance program that helps American workers who lose their jobs due to trade.

“Trade adjustment and Colombia could be used as a bargaining chip with the White House,” the leadership aide said. “That is, if that’s even the route we want to go.”

Such a move would draw protests from AFL-CIO, which strongly opposes the Colombia trade deal.

Organized labor has launched intensive efforts to elect Obama and bolster Democratic majorities in Congress.

TheHill.com - Obama's first 100 days start early
Jakarta Expat is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Lets be 100% honest - Early W220 cameraman123 W220 S-Class 46 01-09-2009 01:51 PM
    THE LAST 100 DAYS... Jayhawk Off-Topic 7 10-13-2008 12:10 PM
    spluttering, failing to start after 5 days in garage skitzy.sht W201 190-Class 20 08-20-2007 09:31 PM
    Pelosi Survives 1st 100 Days as Speaker Jakarta Expat Off-Topic 37 04-16-2007 11:18 AM
    Following the April 1st spoof a few days ago, can we find 100 other uses for an slk roof.... Owen R170 SLK-Class 5 04-01-2002 01:33 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome