As the Drudge Report was highlighting Betsy McCaughey’s commentary on Bloomberg.com on how the Obama Stimulus Bill will ruin your health care, the Senate quickly acted to pass the latest version of the $838 Billion Spending bill, by a vote of 61-37. Clearly, the polls were showing that the more America learned of this plan, the more likely it was to lose the little support it had. It is unfortunate that the Senate was pressed to consider a 1,000+ page spending bill in less than a week, and that in the end, only a handful of Senators had any say in its content, just as only a handful of Speaker Pelosi’s advisors wrote the House version.
The next step is the House-Senate conference, which will attempt to negotiate the differences between the two versions of the bill, so that one bill can be agreed to by both chambers and then sent to the President for signature. The White House will press Congressional leaders to again move swiftly, for fear that delay will continue to erode support for a bill that hides liberal agenda under the guise of crisis management. However, it may not be as easy as President Obama would like.
Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), one of the Senators responsible for the compromise, is on record as saying he would only support the final bill if it came back with no changes, or “virtually intact“. And House Majority Leader Hoyer has responded; “That’s not the process. The process is, the House acts, the Senate acts and then we try to reconcile the differences.” So there is still time for the House to rearrange this bill back into the form that didn’t pass muster with the compromising Senators.
Probably best not tell them that the two bills are already virtually identical, sharing the same overwhelming characteristic. Neither will stimulate the economy, create jobs or help small businesses grow as much as aggressively lowering taxes across the board on businesses and individuals would have, yet both create a perpetual state of government dependency. Maybe the conference won’t be a problem after all.