Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What concessions will Barack Obama make to the Republicans to get a timely stimulus bill passed by a wide margin?

Although there has been talk of the big stimulus bill being delayed until the middle of February, I think this is simply the "same old games of Washington" mentality trying to take root again, and premised on the Democrats proposing an unacceptable bill that passes the House and then fails in the Senate and then gets renegotiated to be what it should have been in the first place. But, in meetings on Monday, Barack apparently indicated that he wanted a bill sooner than what people were talking about. There was also talk that he is determined to get 80 votes in the Senate. That makes a lot of sense to me, but suggests that major concessions will be needed. The ultimate question is what concessions Barack Obama will be willing to make to the Republicans in the Senate in order to assure that the bill gets passed, gets passed with a fairly wide margin of moderate Republicans, does not get blocked by angry right-wing Republicans, and gets passed ASAP, within a few days of the innauguration.

The precise list of concessions is not as important as the question of process. Barack is a strong enough community organizer to be able to deeply comprehend the extent to which he will need to make moderate Republicans relatively comfortable with any stimulus plan, as well as to assure that no right-wing Republicans feel offended enough to block the bill with parliamentary maneuvers. I am 100% confident that Barack knows this "game" well and will play it well, despite opposition to compromise that will come from his Progressive supporters.

I look forward to Barack signing a solid stimulus bill before the first of February.

-- Jack Krupansky

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