>Obama warns Dems sacrifice necessary on stimulus

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The Hill – Leading the News

WILLIAMSBURG, VA. — President Obama on Thursday told House Democrats to ask not what the economic stimulus plan can do for them, but what they can do to pass the economic stimulus plan.

Harking back to the themes of sacrifice laid out in his inaugural address, Obama, keynoting the House Democratic Caucus issues conference, called on Democrats to be prepared to yield on some of their priorities in order to get a near-trillion dollar stimulus plan onto his desk as soon as possible.

“This package is not going to be absolutely perfect,” Obama told a packed room of over 200 Democrats in Williamsburg, Va. “And you can nit and you can pick, you know that’s the game we all play here. You know how to play that game.”

“What I’m saying is, now we can’t afford to play it,” Obama continued.

The timing of the President’s remarks could not have been more apt. Since the House passed its $819 bill last week – without a single Republican vote – fractures in the Democratic caucus have only grown. Progressives began to balk at the addition of tax cuts and removal of certain spending items – done to placate Senate Republicans – while conservatives complained ever more forcefully about the total amont of spending in the bill.

In the Senate, Democratic leaders hope to have a vote on a different version of the stimulus on Friday. The Senate version is more than $900 billion, which has made centrists in both parties nervous.

In preparing the House to accept a final bill that may end up far different than the one they passed – and that Democratic leaders have forcefully defended — Obama called on Democrats to “not let the perfect be the enemy of the absolutely necessary.”

“We’ve got to pull together,” he continued. “They’re going to be some things that don’t get included that each of us would like to see. All of us are going to have to make some sacrifices. And we have to accommodate the interests of a range of people. And the House is going to have to work with the Senate.”

What changes the House may have to accept remain to be seen. The Senate added a one-year patch to prevent more middle class taxpayers from being hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax. The Senate bill also includes a $15,000 tax credit for home owners intended to spur on the housing market.

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Filed under Alternative Minimum Tax, Democrats, Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan, House Democratic Causus, President Obama, Republicans, The Hill, US House of Representatives, US Senate

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