Source : http://www.washingtonpost.com
By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Just days after taking office vowing to end the political era of "petty grievances," President Obama ran into mounting GOP opposition yesterday to an economic stimulus plan that he had hoped would receive broad bipartisan support.
Republicans accused Democrats of abandoning the new president's pledge, ignoring his call for bipartisan comity and shutting them out of the process by writing the $850 billion legislation. The first drafts of the plan would result in more spending on favored Democratic agenda items, such as federal funding of the arts, they said, but would do little to stimulate the ailing economy.
The GOP's shrunken numbers, particularly in the Senate, will make it difficult for Republicans to stop the stimulus bill, but the growing GOP doubts mean that Obama's first major initiative could be passed on a largely party-line vote -- little different from the past 16 years of partisan sniping in the Clinton and Bush eras.
"Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters yesterday, saying Republicans were not being realistic in their expectations.
Hoping to recapture the bipartisan spirit, Obama will host nine congressional leaders at the White House today for talks about the economic recovery package, which he has asked to be on his desk by Feb. 16, Presidents' Day. He also agreed to talk with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and other GOP lawmakers next week about their proposals for more tax cuts.
Republicans have a long list of grievances.Read »