Obama Is Selling It, But It's Not His Bill

President let Congress write stimulus, and probably regrets it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2009 12:37 PM CST
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is working mightily to sell the stimulus bill, but looks have made one major mistake, Massimo Calabresi writes in Time: He let Congress write it. Obama aides let committee staffers draft the bill, relying on their legislative expertise. “They did a good job of really deferring to Congress,” confirms one. Many, however, aren’t sure deference was the way to go.

Congress decided to spend as it usually does: on an array of regional concerns, benefiting various constituencies. “Unfortunately, the House-passed bill is much more like an omnibus bill than a stimulus bill,” said one Republican senator. “The White House would have been better off presenting a bill.” It’s not too late to edit—and doing so could be a big test of Obama’s political capital.