Dickering on a stimulus bill | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dickering on a stimulus bill

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Bipartisanship isn't happening on a stimulus bill and everyone's pointing fingers at each other.

But here's a question for Republican candidates for Congress from Arkansas. Was your party really unwilling to adopt disaster aid for Arkansas? Some people here might not see that as "extraneous."

“Needless to say, Senator Hatch is deeply disappointed that the majority leader has abandoned a genuine bipartisan compromise only hours after it was unveiled in favor of business-as-usual, partisan gamesmanship,” said Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Mr. Hatch, who helped write a provision suspending the payroll tax for companies that hire out-of-work people.

Democrats said Mr. Reid’s hand was forced by objections from rank-and-file Democrats that the measure was not focused tightly enough on job creation and included too many corporate tax breaks they viewed as concessions to Republicans.

At the same time, they said, Republican leaders had made no firm commitment to support the measure and they feared they could face conservative attacks for extraneous provisions like disaster aid for Arkansas and Mississippi.

And this is important, I think. Poll finds that Americans think Obama is making a better effort at bipartisanship than Republicans, the No Party.

Still, the poll suggests that Mr. Obama and his party have an opportunity to deflect the anger and anxiety if they can frame the election not as a referendum on the president and his party, but as a choice between them and a Republican approach that yielded results under Mr. Bush that much of the nation still blames for the country’s woes.

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