Sometime this afternoon, just before I picked my kids up from school, Harry Reid along with all of the Senators who worked on the Senate Compromise of the Stimulus Bill came out and announced that both the House and the Senate have reached a compromise on the deal that will go to both Chambers for a final vote over the next two days. Noticeably absent from the meeting was Nancy Pelosi (and any other House member). Reid had trumpeted her leadership (not too shabby, getting kudos even though you’re absent, huh?) and detailed the new Bill, which will trim more funding from the final piece of legislation in an effort to keep the overall cost down which satisfies Republicans; on the spending side, more funding was allocated to infrastructure repairs and improvements. Well, looks like they finally got it right…looks like the middle of the political spectrum and common sense prevailed…well, sort of.
About an hour ago, Madame Speaker held her own news conference announcing the deal. Usually, these types of things are announced in tandem; and that can only mean one thing: Ms. Pelosi has been told (by either Rahm Emmanuel or The President), to sit down and shut up. I assume she was also told to ensure her caucus members get behind this Bill and make sure that even though everyone’s complaining about their precious little piece of pork that was trimmed, that there be no open rebellion on the House floor. That Democrats fall in line; that those 17 members who crossed the aisle a couple of weeks ago to vote “No” come back into the fold, or that no one else join them. Madame Speaker was just given a lesson in Chicago Politics, and her breezy Bay Area Bullshit Banter isn’t going to fly anymore.
The Speaker was also not informed that the announcement was being made by Senator Reid; in fact, she thought it was still “in conference” while she was still in the Conference Room. Looks like our good Mister Reid got his marching orders, and he know which side of the bread has the non-trans fat, non-cholesterol spread on it. The Republican moderates are CLEARLY on board with the Bill, because the helped to craft the final product and there is no chance that they will go back on their word…unless Pelosi and The House does something incredibly stupid. Right now, considering this is the largest appropriations Bill in the history of this country; it is just the right size, and I fully support what’s in it. We may have to add more funding down the line, but at this moment, this is precisely largeted for spending and tax cuts. I’m also extremely happy more spending went to infrastructure…and this virtually guarantees jobs for “shovel ready” projects for the States. Speaking of the States, more funding went to them as part of the compromise. Senators Specter, Snowe, and Collins’ support virtually means this Bill is a done deal…unless Madame Speaker decides to open her mouth and sink the deal, like so many she has before.
Today, Harry Reid stepped up and blind-sided Nancy Pelosi. He got off the leash and ran away to the nice friendly moderates on the other side of the street. Yes, Harry Reid has indeed grown a pair. Let’s just not hope it’s underminded by a bad case of premature legislation.
“Some people are pragmatists, taking things as they come and making the best of the choices available. Some people are idealists, standing for principle and refusing to compromise. And some people just act on any whim that enters their heads. I pragmatically turn my whims into principles.” – Bill Watterson