Obama's stimulus package is on track to pass before the Presidents Day recess in mid-February. But it is increasingly doubtful that he will pick up the 80 Senate votes he had hoped to win in the first major legislative test of his presidency. Instead, the bill is likely to pass on the strength of the Democrats' majority.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said Wednesday that prospects for bipartisanship in the stimulus debate rapidly were eroding.Welcome to Washington. Now do what grown ups do and tell the extremist Republicans to go fuck themselves. Just peel off the moderates.
"The air is coming out of that balloon," Thune said. "To attract Republicans, they lose Democrats. It is a very difficult needle to thread. They are discovering that the goal [of an 80-vote majority] is unrealistic. He got so much push-back from his own people."
House Republican leaders have set up a working group to draft their own stimulus proposal focusing on permanent, across-the-board tax relief. And the Republican Study Committee, a group of about 100 conservative House Republicans, unveiled a bill Wednesday that contains a series of tax cuts, including reducing all personal income tax rates by 5% and cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.