Stimulus’ Next Step

The White House and Senate Democrats may have secured a deal with moderate Republicans for passage of Obama’s stimulus plan, but a significant hurdle remains in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “very much opposed” to Senate stimulus compromises. Whereas the House’s $820 billion version of the bill focuses on funneling funds to states and localities where wide-scale job loss looms, the Senate’s plan contains concessions to the right wing including heavier tax cuts and diminished health care and food stamp support. The ultimate bill may signal how Congressional Democrats intend to use their ruling majority: Will they take their success in the recent election as a mandate to push their vision, or will they pursue compromise and bipartisanship, even in the face of an often staunchly opposed GOP?