The battle lines have been drawn. Republicans in Congress have united and are doing what they do best - being Republicans. They've done a good job of highlighting the 1% of the stimulus package which could be referred to as pork. On a broader perspective, they have decided to make the package Obama's bill and have set their eyes on the 2010 elections. If the stimulus bill fails, as Republicans certainly hope it does, then the probability of recapturing either the House or Senate goes up a notch.
For his part, President Obama has gotten tougher in pushing Congress to pass the bill. In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Obama writes:
"That's why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come."
"In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis -- the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive."
"I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. They know that we have tried it those ways for too long. And because we have, our health-care costs still rise faster than inflation. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens our economy and our security. Our children still study in schools that put them at a disadvantage. We've seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail."
"Every day, our economy gets sicker -- and the time for a remedy that puts Americans back to work, jump-starts our economy and invests in lasting growth is now."
It appears that as much as Obama desired a bipartisan bill, it's not going to happen. So be it.