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Obama, Pelosi will meet Monday to plot strategy for the stimulus

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It's starting to become real. Congress is back in session next week. Obama is moving to D.C. over the weekend.

Today's Washington Post reports that the President-elect and the Speaker will be meeting on Monday to plan the strategy for passing the stimulus package:

Sources said Obama and Pelosi will discuss the scope and timing of the economic recovery package, which Obama has said will be his first priority upon being sworn into office. Pelosi has said her goal is to have the legislation on the new president's desk and ready to be signed on Jan. 20.

But that schedule appears increasingly likely to slip, as Republicans and conservative Democrats are raising concerns about the impact on the federal deficit of spending hundreds of billions on an array of projects with little vetting by Congress. Lawmakers now expect a spending package of between $675 billion and $775 billion.

And a top congressional aide said yesterday that Democratic leaders in the House are still waiting for a detailed proposal to be delivered by Obama's economic advisers before lawmakers can begin the process of turning it into legislation.
Ever so slowly, trouble is brewing. The Republican leaders in Congress, who aren't on the post-partisan bandwagon, would love to slow this thing down and cause problems for Obama right from the start. The leadership of the GOP is not concerned about the state of the nation's economy. After all, this mess festered under their "leadership" and based on their philosophy. Watch what the GOP does. They're masters at obstruction and distraction. And, it's all a game to them.

The biggest problem will, of course, be in the Senate. Mitch McConnell has already started making noises about obstructing the stimulus. And, the Democrats will probably be short a few members when the action begins:
Even if the House votes before Obama's inauguration, passage in the Senate is likely to be more contentious and take longer than in the other chamber. With an ongoing recount in Minnesota's Senate race and the process for replacing Obama in the chamber still uncertain, Democrats can be assured of holding only 57 seats during January, three votes shy of a veto-proof majority.
Okay, one quick note about this paragraph. I think the reporter means a filibuster-proof majority, not veto-proof. To break a filibuster, 60 votes are required. Overriding a veto requires two-thirds. But, either way, it begs the question of whether the GOP Senators are prepared to filibuster the economic stimulus package when the economy is on the brink of collapse.

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