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January 27th, 2009

Obama Meets With GOP, Acknowledges Criticisms

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President Obama met with House Republicans today to gain GOP support for his economic stimulus package. The House is set to vote on the $825 billion stimulus bill tomorrow.

Feeling the need to gain Republican support, President Obama said he didn’t expect 100% agreement or even 50% from GOP members:

“I don’t think too many Republicans are going to vote for the stimulus package because not too many of us think it’s going to work,” said Rep. Devin Nunez (R., Calif.).

Another factor hampering Republican support of the bill is the impact such a package would have on the country’s ever-growing deficit. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that a $825 billion recovery package would end up costing $1.2 trillion over 10 years:

That’s because the government will borrow to fund the plan and pay an estimated $347 billion in interest, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee on Tuesday.

Also, criticisms were voiced by Republicans over the lack of immediate effect the stimulus will have:

The CBO estimates that roughly 64% of the $825 billion package would be put to use in 2009 and 2010, assuming a stimulus bill is signed into law in mid-February.

By contrast, Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director, vowed to congressional leaders last week that 75% of the money would be spent within 18 months.

While it’s encouraging that the president is interested in gaining a Republican perspective — whether he needs the votes or not — Democrats should remember that if they want to gain bipartisan support, spending doesn’t equal effectiveness.

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2 Responses to “Obama Meets With GOP, Acknowledges Criticisms”

  1. Rebecca Wilder Says: January 27th, 2009 at 7:23 pm
  2. Tim Manni Says: January 28th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Hey Rebecca,

    No I hadn’t, thanks for sending it my way (the Washington Post link from Rebecca goes to a blog post regarding an advertisement from conservative economists urging President Obama that massive spending is the incorrect way to fight a recession). First off, without taking one political side or the other, it just amazes me how there is such an extreme divide on this. I say extreme b/c one side is pushing this financial solution why the other is staunchly opposed. There seems little common ground. I truly hope not, but is this growing more political than practical?

    For another thing it’s interesting to see how advertising is being used in different, more strategic ways.

    Thanks as always for your contributions,

    Tim

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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