White House Gets Tough on Congress' Critics, Skeptics

Obama defends stimulus, pushes health reform
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 10:08 AM CDT
Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., speakd in opposition to the economic stimulus measure on Jan. 29, 2009.    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – The White House is cracking down on its critics—and on laggards within the Democratic Party, too. Republican naysayers on the economic stimulus and health care are getting the roughest treatment, Politico reports. After Kentucky Sen. Jon Kyl railed against the efficacy of stimulus spending, four Cabinet secretaries wrote to his state's governor saying, "If you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Sen. Kyl suggests, please let me know."

The campaign directed at Democrats is gentler. Organizing for America, President Obama's supporter network, is running ads in eight states urging centrist Senate Dems to get behind health reform. "With this ad, and with all that we are doing on the ground, we want them to know … that they have the support of their constituents to do the right thing," says a Democratic National Committee spokesman.