As numerous news media are doing at this hour, the Seattle Times just announced that an agreement has been reached between the Senate and the House on a $789 billion economic stimulus package:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced agreement on stimulus bill. Moving with remarkable speed, key lawmakers and the White House were working on a $789 billion economic stimulus measure designed to create millions of jobs in a nation reeling from recession.
The New York Times reports:
Negotiations had been going on all day, following extensive talks on Tuesday night, to close the gap between the Senate and House versions. In the end, the agreed-upon package will pare back Democrats’ proposed spending on education and health programs in favor of tax cuts that were needed to win Republican votes in the Senate
This latest development clears the way for final action and for President Obama’s signature.
Almost assured of a White House signature and subsequent implementation, the only question that remains is, what will Republican legislators (and their cheerleading Limbaugh’s and Hannity’s) do now?
Will they be patriotic enough to, in a constructive way, join forces with Democrats to make the stimulus plan succeed, even though they feel that they had a better plan?
Will they be diligent enough to try to improve the plan’s chances for success by good faith efforts to shape its implementation by including what they feel are essential elements of their approach to rescuing the economy?
Will they be partisan enough to just sit by the sidelines so that they can say “We told you so,” in case things do go wrong, and benefit at the next elections?.
Or, will they just be themselves and continue to malign and even obstruct its implementation just to prove they were right, whether they were right or not?
We’ll soon see
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.