How To Get Consensus On The Stimulus Plan

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
Now that the Senate is contemplating the values of President Obama's stimulus plan, the question is whether the President is interested in doing any horse trading in order to be able to say the bill really did represent a bi-partisan effort on signing day.

The plan sailed through the House without a single Republican vote. House Republicans said the plan was long on government and short on stimulus. Republican Senators have similar beefs. President Obama can probably ignore the Republicans and get his bill passed.

And that smacks against much of the rhetoric that helped get him elected. Unfortunately, in Washington old habits die hard. And one of the old habits is for the party newly brought to power to rub its opponents' noses in the legislation it couldn't have brought to light in previous sessions.

That only serves to perpetuate the rancor and ill will that has poisoned Washington for years.
By Harry Smith


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