The Economic Stim Package passed the Senate today 61 to 37, but don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet because now the hard work begins.
The bill was passed in the Senate mostly along party lines with only 3 Republicans voting for it; but those 3 Republicans are very important and their votes must be kept in the “aye” category when the bill comes back from the House which is expected to revise it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she hoped there would not be a lot of wrangling and that they might be able to return the bill to the Senate within 24 hours, according to the NY Times. However, when Pelosi was pressed for a definite timetable of one day, she wouldn’t commit saying instead, “Well, I hope that is so,” according to the NY Times.
President Obama has his work cut out for him – with inflexible Republicans in the Senate who seem to have no solutions but are ever intent on obstructing progress PLUS House Democrats who are intent on “porking” the bill up for things that are not needed immediately.
Obama, however, appears to be up to the challenge!
Going back to basics, President Obama has re-entered the campaign trail – this time in favor of getting this country out of economic trouble. Yesterday, he was in a community in Indiana that has been hard hit by the Meltdown; and today he was in Florida in a community which has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, according to MSNBC’s Hardball.
His aim is not to brow-beat or pound the bully pulpit, but instead to just talk with residents of communities hurting by this financial crisis. At both events, yesterday and today, the crowd was not pre-screened or hand-picked but instead was on a first come basis. Furthermore, both counties in Indiana and Florida did NOT vote for Obama in the Election but instead supported McCain.
Instead of taking the Washington Way which means spinning the public while catering to the special interests and wealthy only, President Obama is taking it directly to the People, even those who did not vote for him. Obama is coming before everyday Amercans with absolutly no idea what they’re going to say to him or what they’re going to ask; the people attending have not been scripted or screened prior to the meeting. In that respect, Obama is taking a chance, but he is obviously strong enough and feels the Amercan people and our economy are worth his own risk of possibly being embarrassed.
Govenor Charlie Crist joined President Obama onstage today in Florida in a show of bipartisan support; let’s hope the Senate Republicans get the message.
Obama told the Florida audience that he would not allow Washington to continue its tired old ways of doing nothing. Saying that inaction “is not an option,” Obama promised results saying, “You didn’t send me to Washington to do nothing,” according to the NY Times.