Thursday, January 29, 2009

 

Quick Hits

House Passes Obama Stimulus Package

“Just a day after the president spent more than an hour behind closed doors at the Capitol seeking their support, all 177 House Republicans opposed the measure, arguing that it would spend hundreds of billions of dollars on initiatives that would do little to stimulate the economy. Eleven Democrats opposed the bill.”

…meaning it was only the OPPOSITION to the so-called Stimulus Bill that drew bipartisan support.

'Buy American' Rider Sparks Trade Debate

“The stimulus bill passed by the House last night contains a controversial provision that would mostly bar foreign steel and iron from the infrastructure projects laid out by the $819 billion economic package.

“A Senate version, yet to be acted upon, goes further, requiring, with few exceptions, that all stimulus-funded projects use only American-made equipment and goods.”

Where does the President stand on this matter?

“We're reviewing the Buy American plan proposal, and we are committed to a plan that will save or create at least 3 million jobs including jobs in manufacturing," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.”

Any questions?

Now I don’t have the President’s 2+ years of experience legislating in Congress but I’m going to guess that when the House and Senate get together, their compromise will NOT entail LESS protectionism than either version currently has. With the House version just passed, it’s rather late in the game to be reviewing just where the Administration stands on Free Trade. A virulent protectionist bill is going to end up on the President’s desk and I think we all know how that’s going to end.

But even that signing won’t be the first big mistake of his tenure. Peter Kirsanow over at NRO:

“…we're going to have a tax cheat in charge of the IRS, a man instrumental in the pardoning of terrorists as top terrorism watchdog, and a woman whose husband gets tens of millions from foreign governments in charge of implementing foreign policy.”

Speaking of…George Mitchell is now a Special Envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross is the Special Envoy on Iran and Richard Holbrooke is a Special Envoy for Afghan and Pakistani matters.

What exactly is Secretary Clinton’s job again?

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