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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    A “Bipartisan” Party?

    A key promise of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was to “change the tone” of squabbling Washington, D.C., politics. The ideological deadlocks that have mired progress so often would be a practice of the past. A new age of change and transparency would become the way of United States government. Now that he is president, how well can Obama come through on his hopeful philosophy?

    The recent vote over the more than $800 billion stimulus package is a sobering reminder of the kind of opposition he is up against. As the bill moves to the Senate, Obama has to be formulating what to make of the fact that zero house Republicans voted for it despite his personal meetings and concessions to right-wing leadership.

    Although they claim to be glad for his outreach and openness, Republicans say that the bill pushes the liberal agenda too far while not doing enough to meet the true needs of the American people during this economic crisis.

    Despite its passage in the house, 11 Democrats also chose not to support the bill. Obama seems determined rather than deterred by these events. The night after the vote, he held what could be called a conciliatory cocktail party with the leaders of both parties of the house. Even in victory, the president is looking to lobby his positive political momentum in time for the next big bill.

    It is unlikely that Obama ever expected such a stimulus bill to pass without contention and debate. With the economy in the forefront of the citizens’ minds, both politicians and the public want something done, and fast. The package will almost certainly pass, so what can Democrats and Republicans do to adjust the terms of this historic measure so that it works the best and for the most people?

    The bill as passed in the house is two-thirds spending and one-third tax cuts. That is not good enough, according to the GOP, as well as a growing number of Democrats.

    Both parties are concerned about mounting job losses in their districts and many cite that millions of dollars in stimulus funding to things like the already conceded contraception provision do not create work. Still, others disagree. There is an undertone of ideology already permeating the fa

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