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Obama and Congress Collaborate on Massive Economic Stimulus Package

Days after flying in to Washington D.C., President-elect Barack Obama has been meeting with Congress to collaborate on an economic stimulus package he hopes to sign by the first week of February.  The package includes money for infrastructure and energy products, as well as $300 billion in tax cuts for middle class workers and small businesses. The total cost of the package is expected to be around $800 billion, although estimates predict that the cost of the bill could increase to over a trillion dollars.

While there appears to be some disagreement among Senate Democrats over some of the tax provisions in the bill, most Democrats, like Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) believe that, “there's absolutely no disagreement on the need to act."  Congressional Republicans worry that in their haste, President-elect Obama and Congressional Democrats will push through an unnecessarily expensive bill that will place a great burden on the American taxpayers.             

Resistance towards passing this bill could create a backlash, especially for the Republican Party, which is still reeling from the loss of the White House and both Houses of Congress.  Stan Greenburg, a Democratic pollster from Greenburg Quinlan Rosner, stated that it would be a final marginalizing act for Republicans if they filibustered, especially “when the Republican brand seems to be declining and many Americans aren't sure what the GOP stands for.”  There are signs that moderate Republicans will support the stimulus package, which is all that Congressional Democrats need to successfully pass the bill.