CQ Politics: The president's top aide, Rahm Emanuel, has invited a group of moderate Republicans to a private White House meeting Tuesday amid a Democratic push to add bipartisan flavor to an $825 billion economic stimulus package making its way through Congress.
The smaller confab is scheduled to take place after Obama and Emanuel meet separately with large caucuses of congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats on Tuesday.
It appears to be something of a continuation of the bipartisan dinners Emanuel held with Republicans during his three-term stint as a Democratic House member from Chicago, and it is not clear whether the stimulus will be the focus of the meeting, one of many subjects or simply the $825 billion gorilla in the room.
Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., said the invitation to the White House from the newly minted chief of staff sets a new tone. "That hasn't been done as much in the most recent Bush administration," Petri said.
Petri is among the Republicans who has yet to decide which way he will vote on a package that combines $550 billion in spending on education, infrastructure improvements, health insurance, unemployment benefits and other administration priorities with $275 billion in tax cuts. Read more.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Rahm Emanuel Gets Bipartisan
Obama's serious about the bipartisan tone. But is it important to have bipartisan support of the stimulus package? Yes. The democrats should listen and consider republican ideas, as well as make compromises, so long as the integrity of the stimulus bill remains intact.