Saturday, January 03, 2009

House plans to fast-track Obama plan


President-elect Barack Obama’s record-setting stimulus plan — the biggest special spending bill in history — is getting such astonishingly quick treatment from House Democrats that officials say it could go from draft to final passage in one week.

The bill has no text or details yet, but it does have a name: Obama revealed Saturday in his YouTube/radio address that it will be called the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.”

When asked about the title, Frank Luntz, a Republican consultant who wrote a treatise on political linguistics called “Words That Work,” told Politico: “Obama's team are the best linguists I've ever seen. Republicans aren't in his league right now."

“Recovery says putting the country back on track, and reinvestment is the next step up from investment,” Luntz explained.

The 111th Congress begins Tuesday with the swearing-in of new members. The stimulus plan — with a price tag of up to $850 billion — is likely to be ready for a vote the following week, officials said.

No draft or outline or outline was circulating this weekend, but House Democratic officials said they hope to have one by early next week.

“We are hoping for a House vote on Week 2 (week of Jan. 12),” a House official said. “It could slip if we decide to hold regular approps hearings. But I think a vote is likely the week of Jan. 12.” ............

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