White House Goes to the Capitol and Comity Results

By January 27, 2009Economy

From CQ Politics, “House Republicans Praise Obama’s Willingness To Tweak Stimulus Plan“:

House GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana said prior to the meeting that Democrats had drafted a purely partisan bill. He said Republican leaders would undertake a public campaign against it. “The American people need to know that President Obama’s call for compromise has been completely ignored.”

But Pence, Minority Leader John A. Boehner , R-Ohio, and other Republicans emerged from the meeting warmly praising the new president’s effort to elicit their views and to work with them in addressing the economic meltdown.

The GOP leaders said after the meeting, which ran 30 minutes over its 45-minute scheduled time, that Obama told them the current House bill — expected to pass Wednesday — is far from the final version. “The most encouraging statement the president made was that he had no pride of authorship” over the House bill, said Minority Whip Eric Cantor , R-Va. “I took that to mean that tomorrow’s vote is a first step,” he added.

Whitehouse.gov posts the President’s comments after the parley. Excerpt:

As I explained to the Republican House Caucus, and I’ll explain to my former Senate colleagues, the recovery package that we have proposed and is moving its way through Congress is just one leg in a multi-legged stool.  We’re still going to have to have much better financial regulation, we’ve got to get credit flowing again, we’re going to have to deal with the troubled assets that many banks are still carrying and that make the — that have locked up the credit system.  We’re going to have to coordinate with other countries, because we now have a global problem.

I am absolutely confident that we can deal with these issues, but the key right now is to make sure that we keep politics to a minimum.  There are some legitimate philosophical differences with parts of my plan that the Republicans have, and I respect that.  In some cases they may just not be as familiar with what’s in the package as I would like.  I don’t expect a hundred percent agreement from my Republican colleagues, but I do hope that we can all put politics aside and do the American people’s business right now.  All right.

Good to see that both President Obama and House Republicans are open to more work to craft a better, more effective stimulus program.

Also good to see Whitehouse.gov posting comments from the President expeditiously. Now if only everything in The Briefing Room wasn’t subsumed under the blog and instead broken out into statements, transcripts, releases, etc., that would help ease of accessing information.

P.S. As for the press secretary’s briefings: Just print the full transcripts!

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