Democratic Congress to Obama "Move in My Direction"
by Charles Lemos, Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:09:47 PM EST
If all it takes is singing a little Bananarama to the President-elect, we should do this more often because it worked. Via Politico tonight comes word that the President-elect and his economic team have agreed to "make changes to its stimulus proposal based off of concerns senators raised last week at a meeting with the president-elect's senior aides."
The Obama team told about 35 Senate Democrats gathered at Sunday's meeting that it would grow the size of an energy-tax incentive package and modify proposed tax credits for individuals and for businesses that hire new employees, according to meeting attendees. Also, with lawmakers raising concerns that the first half of the $700 billion of the financial rescue law was badly mismanaged, Obama's team signaled it would lay out precisely how it would spend the second half of that package, which Congress is expected to consider as soon as this week.
Below the fold some rather happy Democratic legislators.
"They're moving in our direction," Senator Barbara Boxer said, adding that the Obama team assured Democrats that the money given to state governments would reach cities and counties suffering from budget shortfalls.
"It's very clear they've listened, they've heard and that they're moving to respond," said Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Budget Committee, who questioned previously whether the tax credits in the stimulus package were enough to encourage new jobs. "It was very, very healthy. They're not defensive, not arguing back, they're listening, they're attempting to hear and they're responding."
"I'm not frustrated at all," said Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a member of the Finance Committee who last week criticized Obama's initial proposal to give companies a $3,000 tax credit for new hires. "I think they're moving effectively to the issues that we raised the other day, and there are significant changes put in place and being contemplated in the next hours, they'll be making some judgments with respect to a lot of that."
This is a good sign. He listens.