Read the Bills Act Coalition

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who's Playing Who?

From Politico:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played a little high-stakes chicken with each other at the tail end of Wednesday’s shotgun stimulus talks.....It’s not clear who won – or who blinked.....According to a half dozen Congressional aides and members, Reid went before the cameras Wednesday to announce a stimulus deal before Pelosi had agreed on all the details of school construction financing. ....“It’s ruffled feathers, big time,” said a House Democrat speaking on condition of anonymity. “The speaker went through the roof.”....Added one House Democratic aide: “He tried to roll her and she knew it.” ...A few minutes after Reid announced the deal, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) convened a public meeting of the House-Senate conference committee.....It was supposed to be a glorified photo op. But there were no House Democrats in the room – and Inouye hastily announced the meeting would be scrapped pending a Pelosi “briefing” of members on the details. ....The problem, according to people familiar with the situation, was that Pelosi hadn’t completely signed off on the Senate’s approach to restoring some of the $21 billion in school construction funding. House Democrats are pushing to have school-repair funding listed as a recurring expense; Senate Republicans want such an allocation to be a one-time-only deal....The approach adopted by the Senate still infuriates many members of her caucus, and Pelosi had yet to fully make her case to dissenters, a source told Politico....The result: Pelosi summoned Reid to her office – her turf – to hash out unspecified modifications to the package prior to a 5:15 re-convening of the conference committee....People close to Pelosi painted a different picture – one that portrays Reid as the one being rolled. Pelosi, they say, strategically permitted Reid to make his announcement – and then held up her approval to extract a slightly better deal. ....Contradicting other sources who said that Pelosi had been blindsided, a House Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Reid had placed a “head’s up” phone call to Pelosi before announcing the deal.....A Senate aide concurred, saying that Pelosi "wasn't blindsided" and "didn't say no" when Reid announced he was going public. The staffer added that Pelosi spent much of the day trying -- unsuccessfully -- to convince the three Senate Republicans to make changes.....Pelosi told reporters late Wednesday that she had some success selling the Senate on unspecified legislative language "that spoke to the purpose of school construction." ....Whatever the real story, Pelosi’s members were more than a little bewildered and headed into Wednesday’s night’s negotiation singing their Kumbayas through gritted teeth.....“[Senate Democrats] don’t know everything that’s in the bill,” said a laughing Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Ways and Committee. “So I’m afraid to go to that damned conference.”...Even Senate Democrats seemed a little flummoxed. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), briefing reporters after the Reid presser, stopped short of actually saying he was 100 percent sure a deal had been cut

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Anonymous said...

Pelosi and Reid are the real powers that be in Washington and not President Obama. If not for the dynamic congressional duo the President would have had a brokered convention and Hillary may have well been the noiminee. It was the Democrat tag-team of Pelosi-Reid that whipped the super-delegates in line behind Obama and he owes them big!

If any American thinks that power resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, they should study the spring and summer of 2008 and look how the "economic stmulus" act was crafted. The adminstration had nothing to do with it.

Politics isn't rocket science. It is all about relationship and the Democrats want to make their realtions wealthier and happier with the "stimulus" plan, and move the Census Bureau out of the Department of Commerence so to make their majority in Congress bigger, permanent, and wealthier. The "economic stimulus" bill is all about strengthening the Democrat Party and nothing else!

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Jody L. Wilcox said...

Thanks Danny for the insight and I tend to agree with all points given...the problem with power duos is they tend to turn on each so they can be power far Reid and Pelosi have worked well togeher but the pressure of this porkulus bill may drive a wedge between them...which is good in some cases, bad in others when in comes to helping the American people