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.