Pelosi: Another Stimulus Not 'in the Cards' Right Now
By Ben Pershing
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) cast serious doubt today on the idea that Congress might tackle another stimulus package anytime soon, saying she prefers to wait and see whether the first stimulus measure works first.
"I don't think you ever close the door to being prepared for whatever eventuality may come," Pelosi said at her weekly press conference, but emphasized that a second stimulus package is "just not right now something that's in the cards."
Less than a month after President Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus measure into law, Pelosi herself helped nudge the idea of a second package to the surface when she said Tuesday that Congress should "keep the door open" to the possibility of another bill. House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) threw more fuel on the fire by saying he had instructed his staff to start drafting a second stimulus.
Pelosi today nixed the idea that any serious work was underway on such a measure. "The House Appropriations Committee is ever-vigilant," she said, drawing laughter. "They're always ready to pass legislation."
Pelosi said that a supplemental spending measure might be necessary to cover the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but otherwise, "My preference is that any appropriations that we do henceforth be in the regular order, under the regular hearing process, markup and the rest."
Several key Democrats have said this week they don't like the idea of doing another package so soon, and Republicans -- who almost unanimously opposed the first stimulus -- have even less appetite for a second.
Pelosi suggested that Congress has already passed or would pass measures beyond the first stimulus package that would help to create jobs, including the omnibus spending bill that Obama signed Wednesday and the massive highway bill the House will take up in the coming months. She said she expected economists and others might continue to promote the idea of another stimulus, "but not from my initiation."
"I know people have made suggestions that we should be ready to do something, but I really would like to see this stimulus package play out," Pelosi said.
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