Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Giving in to the Lame Duck President on the Auto Bailout

George W. Bush is the lamest of lame duck Presidents right now. However, that didn't stop Democrats from giving in to Bush on key issues of the auto bailout.

From Daily Kos...

  • Democrats bent to the will of the president on several key demands, most notably in agreeing that the emergency funding would be drawn from an existing loan program aimed at promoting fuel-efficient technologies.
  • Democrats had hoped to take the money from the Treasury's $700 billion financial rescue program, but the White House objected. A breakthrough came Friday, when Pelosi dropped her opposition...
  • The Democratic proposal makes no provisions to replenish the loan fund, as Pelosi had hoped.
  • Democrats flirted with the idea of naming a seven-member board to oversee the auto bailout but decided instead to have the president name an individual, as Bush had suggested.
Reading this doesn't give me much hope for the next 2 years (or even 4) with Democrats in control.

In 2006 Chet Culver was elected and Democrats controlled the Iowa Senate and Iowa House. They set out on an ambitious agenda and passed a great deal of legislation over the next two years that included the Iowa Power Fund, raising teacher pay, the smoking ban, increasing health care to uninsured children, election day voter registration, early childhood education, and raising the cigarette tax. I am sure Democrats at the Iowa State House compromised some on these issues to get them passed and there were some cases they had enough votes where they didn't need to.

Democrats in Washington are going to be in the same situation next year. They won't need to give in to every Republican pressures on key issues. They need to understand that they will be controlling the ship, so whatever goes wrong will be on their watch. They need to lay out their plans and get them passed.

I just hope they have the spine to stand up and get things done.

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