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Dem leaders upset that Obama hasn't given them a econ stim package


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All Dems care about, is power politics.

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Democrats Are Concerned Over Stimulus Plan Delays

WASHINGTON -- Democratic leaders are increasingly concerned that they won't be able to offer an economic stimulus package for congressional debate until late January because they haven't received a plan from President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.


Democrats initially had hoped to unveil details of the economic recovery package this week and to pass it by Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, so it would be ready for Mr. Obama's signature soon after his swearing-in. Estimates are that the plan will call for spending as much as $850 billion over two years.


"The weak economy demands quick action, and that is our intention," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said in an interview Tuesday. "But significant work remains to be done. We need to do this right and make wise investments, plus members and the public need time to review it. So the timing very well may slip."


Rep. David Obey (D., Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, added, "I had been hoping that the timetable would be this week" for having a proposal in hand.


But Mr. Obey said Mr. Obama's team, which recently met with congressional committee leaders, is still determining the details of the package it wants.


"The Obama people are still trying to chew through all of that, to decide what they think works and what doesn't at this stage," Mr. Obey said.


Once Mr. Obama's aides come up with a package, he added, congressional Democrats will have to negotiate with them over the details.


"First we've got to have some signals called by Obama," Mr. Obey said. "It's hard to negotiate with somebody if the other party hasn't decided what they want out of the negotiations."


Mr. Obey conceded that Mr. Obama's team is having to absorb an enormous amount of information in a limited time. "I know the people involved, and they are very talented people. And you will not find anybody who works harder than they do," he said.


Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for Mr. Obama's transition team, said, "We're making progress on the plan, and will continue to work with members of Congress to enact it as soon as possible."


Mr. Obama himself has never laid down a timetable for the economic recovery plan. And while an Obama proposal hasn't gone to Capitol Hill, officials from the transition team have been in regular contact with congressional leaders to hash out various aspects of the stimulus plan.


One of the Democrats' concerns is that when the Obama team does deliver a plan, it might not contain much detail. If it is a broad overview, congressional leaders will have to scramble to flesh it out into a workable piece of legislation.


Democratic leaders plan to bring the package to the House floor without passing it through committees, as is the usual practice.


"Waiting for a long congressional process -- everybody that I've talked to says that's not an acceptable alternative," said Mr. Hoyer. "I don't think we can afford to do that."


Republicans, meanwhile, are cautioning that Congress shouldn't rush into such a huge spending commitment without time for debate and for crafting safeguards to assure the money is well spent. And Republicans have enough votes in the Senate to slow action.


Also Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Douglas W. Elmendorf to head the Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Elmendorf has worked previously at the CBO, as well as the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the White House Council of Economic Advisers.


Write to Naftali Bendavid at naftali.bendavid@wsj.com



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Guest BillyJack
Its the big January Suprise from Biden that were waiting on. Instead of them givingt away money to everyone they will have massive tax increases and make them retro-active. PAY NOW!
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