Forget Bipartisanship— Let's Pass This Bill

Crisis is no time for 'meeting in the middle'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 10, 2009 9:09 AM CST
President Barack Obama walks down the Cross Hall to hold his first news conference, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Sure, bipartisanship is great when the country can afford it—but to fix the economic crisis, we’ll have to forgo unity, writes Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post. Expert economists agree that the stimulus package is crucial, and even most Republican senators say something needs to be done. “If the loyal opposition chooses to obstruct economic recovery, those who hold power are obliged to use it,” Robinson notes.

Take, for example, the $79 billion originally intended for states’ desperate needs. Three Republicans and some conservative Dems whittled that down to $39 billion. “It's wrong to see this as the normal give-and-take of legislative sausage-making,” Robinson notes. “This is not, repeat not, a time for compromise. If we don't get enough money into the economy, and if we don't do it soon, we risk wasting a king's ransom on a stimulus that's too puny to stimulate."