Obama to GOP: 'I won'

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Obama to GOP: 'I won'
    By: Jonathan Martin and Carol E. Lee
    January 23, 2009 04:43 PM EST

    President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations. "I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

    The exchange arose as top House and Senate Republicans expressed concern to the president about the amount of spending in the package. They also raised red flags about a refundable tax credit that returns money to those who don’t pay income taxes, the sources said.

    The Republicans stressed that they want to include more middle class tax cuts in the package, citing their proposal to cut the two lowest tax rates — 15 percent and 10 percent — to ten percent and five percent, rather than issue the refundable credit Obama wants.

    At another point in the meeting, sources said Obama told the group: “This is a grave situation facing the country.” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama would hold another economic meeting in the White House Saturday for a "broader group."

    After Friday's meeting, Democratic and Republican leaders publicly wrangled over the developing stimulus plan.

    But perhaps taking a cue from Obama’s “I won” line when Democrats were asked if they were concerned about Republicans blocking the package, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a swift one-word answer: “No.”

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill was on track for passage by February 16, while Republicans continued to voice their opposition.

    “We expressed our concerns about some of the spending that’s being proposed in the House bill,” House Minority Leader John Boehner said after meeting with Obama.

    “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?” Boehner asked. “How does that stimulate the economy?”

    Boehner said congressional Republicans are also concerned about the size of the package.

    “Government can’t solve this problem,” he said.

    Reid said a Congressional Budget Office report that says the stimulus funds won’t be pumped into the economy until 2010 doesn’t provide an accurate picture.

    Republicans have used the report to back up their argument against a near $1 trillion package. But Reid said Obama Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag told them CBO only analyzed 40 percent of the bill.

    He also said Orszag guaranteed “that at least 75 percent of the bill would go directly into the economy within the first 18 months.”

    Pelosi suggested that the package, currently at $825 billion, could become even larger.

    “It has grown,” Pelosi said, “and we’re still in the process.”

    Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, said Obama’s team was receptive to some Republican ideas about increasing benefits to small businesses. But, he said, “There are some philosophical questions that may not be able to be resolved.”

    Some Republican plans were clearly non-starters with the new president, he said – including GOP calls to put off tax hikes during the recession. “He rejected that out of hand and said we couldn’t have any hard and fast rules like that,” said Cantor.

    Lisa Lerer and Josh Gerstein contributed.
  2. If President Obama believes he can streamroll the pubs, let him do so.

    But he had better damn well make sure he is right. A lot can change in two years.
  3. If Obama is smart, he will try, and if they resist too much and prevent important legislation from passing, and we continue to go down the shitter....it will hurt the repubs in 2 years....as Obama and others can say "we tried, but they blocked our legislation, and look at what happened."

  4. Arnie


    The Republicans may be the least of his worries. I'd dare say there are more conservative (blue dog) Democrats than republicans in this congress.

    For all intents and purposes, the Republicans have been nuetered.......no better than court eunichs. :D
  5. The dems who are resistant are under the same pressure and concern to be re-elected.

    If they challenge Obama and block the legislation, Obama will use the Bully Pulpit...something that Bush did not use to his advantage.

    The public right now is mad as hell with the congress (their numbers were lower than Bush), both dems and repubs, so if they value re-election they are going to follow the "decider."

  6. Risky game. Remember the Contract with America? If Obama shoves his policies up the azz of the pubs and we are not better before the midterm.........
  7. Further, I would say that a lot of fence sitters went Obama because they could not get their minds around "President Palin".

    If Obama goes all Liberals Gone Wild on us, the people will respond by providing a congressional check and balance on that.
  8. I really doubt Obama goes liberal wild.

    I know, people want to point to his senate record, etc. but he was representing a liberal state.

    Now he represents an entire country which suggests he will attempt to govern from the center.

  9. wjk


    Having a RINO on top of the ticket didn't help either. I agree with an earlier poster about the blue dogs. I hope they help keep things from going to far left in congress. I would place my money on them over the current crop of pubs, that's for sure.

    How bout that pick in NY? Kirsten Gillibrand. One more vote against the ambitions of the gun grabbers:)
  10. He represents a liberal city, a city that has been able to force feed its liberalism and corruption to the rest of the state.
    #10     Jan 25, 2009