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Obama to Meet with Congressional Leaders Monday

By Michael D. Shear
President-elect Barack Obama will meet with the bipartisan leadership of Congress on Monday in an effort to help pave the way for passage of a massive economic recovery act soon after he is inaugurated.

With just two weeks until he takes office, Obama will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and their Republican counterparts -- House Republican leader John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell -- as Congress begins to debate a stimulus plan that could cost close to $800 billion.

Obama enjoys healthy Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, but has work to do if he wants the economic stimulus plan to be seen as a bipartisan effort that could receive many Republican votes as well.

In a statement to be issued today, Boehner said the legislation is being drafted "with little debate or public scrutiny" and called on Obama and Democratic leaders to work with the GOP on drafting the plan.

"Let's be clear: it is essential that this legislation be debated in a fair, open, and honest way," Boehner said. "Congress should have public hearings in the appropriate committees, the text of the measure should be made available online for the American people to review for at least one week, and it should be free from special-interest
earmarks.This is the taxpayers' money, and they deserve to know their hard-earned tax dollars aren't being wasted."

McConnell, too, has been critical of the size and efficacy of the emerging Obama stimulus plan. He said last week that his members needed more information before they can back the plan.

"As of right now, Americans are left with more questions than answers about this unprecedented government spending, and I believe the taxpayers deserve to know a lot more about where it will be spent before we consider passing it," McConnell said in a statement last week.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 2, 2009; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Hill Transition  
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Comments

Right now, Boehner and McConnel are hoping nobody notices that they belong to a minority party that has 6 candidates for leadership and nobody in charge.

They'll be meeting a popular president with a mandate for change.

Who do you suppose is better at political poker?

Posted by: JohnQuimby | January 2, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh my the hypocrisy of the Republicans take my breath away. Was there such careful scrutiny of the Bush administration plan to go to war with Iraq or were you called unamerican if you questioned it's wisdom? Do they question where US$10b a month is going in the war against Iraq and whether it is just as well spent?

Now they want to question money to spent on infrastructure and green energy and education and health in America on Americans and make sure that there are no earmarks? LOL

The 700B dollar TARP funds, went with a dose of earmarks from the Republicans too.

Posted by: lichan1 | January 2, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Michael Shear:

Don't you mean "pResident" elect ... ?

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

the republicans are for the rich only , well lets review this .We voted you lost the public is taking over and you can pipe down we have suffered your way since RR and no more. Its time to repair America which against your views include the public. If we need to spend 5 trillion fixing your mess so be it.And I could care less what your pastor thinks

Posted by: jeffybear | January 2, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Boehner claims the legislation is being drafted "with little debate or public scrutiny" and yet this news article tells us Obama plans to meet with Boehner and other congressional leaders Monday. This is the beginning of the process and Boehner is already making the issue about the oppositions process and not about the substance. F*rk him.

When Boehner lines up to demand how the $350 Billion was allocated to banks, why it was not spent buying distressed assets and what the banks did with it is when he has some credibility to be whining about legislative process.

Boehner is a dead-ender. If he wants to make a constructive contribution to he debate, by all means.

Posted by: NeilSagan | January 2, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Never mind that. Where was this righteous indignation during lots of other things. We've so far spent 650B in Iraq and never once did Boner bat an eye during one single appropriation. That war will cost the nation over a trillion dollars by the time its all said and done. I'm so glad Boehner was concerned with where the 650B was being spent during the Iraq war, what with all the raw deals the US Government got from so many of the contractors. Report after report has been coming out from all the overcharging. Never mind Afghanistan. I'm astonished by the new found sense of fiscal conservatism practiced by John Boner and his tattered band of republicans. They are a joke.

Posted by: fortheclueless | January 2, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Obstruct? of course.

recall when bush took office he said (words to this effect) that we (the Repubs) will welcome the Dems who see things our way.

In other words: steamroll the Dems.
Boehner went along with that.
Strange he now calls any hint of this tactic to be unfair.

No one's surprised by this.

Posted by: odell1 | January 2, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Boehner said"Let's be clear: it is essential that this legislation be debated in a fair, open, and honest way...Congress should have public hearings in the appropriate committees, the text of the measure should be made available online for the American people to review for at least one week, and it should be free from special-interest earmarks. This is the taxpayers' money, and they deserve to know their hard-earned tax dollars aren't being wasted."

Where was this righteous indignation when he was writing the handing OUR MONEY to Wall Street, The Big 3 Automakers, and AIG?

Posted by: hbfrancis | January 2, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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