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January 29, 2009 - 8:49am

Schumer says passage of stimulus bill will bring $1.6 billion upstate

posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, republicans, Chris Lee, stimulus.

The big news this morning, for sure, is the passage of the $819 billion stimulus package by the U.S. House of Representatives. We have yet to see what the Senate will do, but this thing is sure to climb through the ranks and get the presidential signature soon enough.

Throughout the day today, we'll take a look at some of the details of the package, both at the federal, the state and the local level. We will here what our representative in Congress, Chris Lee, has to say about the bill. We will get a response to Lee's vote against the package from some local Democrats. We will also look to get your opinion on this topic, so please keep an eye out for today's poll, which I hope to get up later this morning.

Let's start out with a broad look at what the stimulus package means for the nation. This is from the New York Times:

At first, it will trickle into paychecks in small, barely perceptible amounts: perhaps $12 or $13 a week for many American workers, in the form of lower tax withholding.

For the growing ranks of the unemployed, it will be more noticeable: benefit checks due to stop will keep coming, along with an extra $25 a week.

At the grocery store, a family of four on food stamps could find up to $79 more a month on their government-issued debit card.

And far bigger sums will appear, courtesy of Washington, on budget ledgers in state capitals nationwide: billions of dollars for health care, schools and public works.

Speaking of billions in health care and school aid, Sen. Chuck Schumer put out a release yesterday detailing the chunk of change due to come to upstate New York—$1.6 billion over the next two years. (Don't know about anyone else, but these numbers are always so staggering. If anyone knows of a good source that looks into how the government can come up, hocus pocus, with nearly a trillion dollars every time things start to look grim, please let me know.)

From Sen. Schumer:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will send nearly $1.6 billion over two years to Upstate New York counties in direct budget and education funding. Right now, the stimulus is expected to include $737 million in federal Medicaid relief for Upstate New York counties to help ease pressure on the overall budget, as well as a minimum of $860 million in education aid.

Western New York is due to see $70.4 million in budget relief for Medicaid and $175 million in school aid, according to Schumer's office. At the end of the release, we're told that the Senate will likely vote on the package next week in the hopes of getting the final draft to the president by President's Day, February 16.

We will get up part two of our look at the stimulus package later this morning. Please be sure to check back. In the meantime, you may want to check out the New York Times Web site, where they have put together an informative graphic that includes some audio commentary from some economists on how the nation handled past recessions.

Brian Hillabush
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Not a single Republican and 11 Democrats voted against this package. It is filled with useless pork and most of the money will go out I believe from 2010-2011. I also heard on FoxNews that if you took the $819 and divided it up between each tax payer, it would be around $30,000 each. This information was presented by a financial expert that was ripping the package apart this morning. Major companies are announcing big layoffs, so many people are losing their homes and we are spending something like $320 million on STD prevention and so many other stupid programs Obama tossed in. And there is a multi-million dollar amount going to "rural development", which I read on a FoxNews blog was basically going to Acorn. Go figure. I believe this is just the beginning of our country being torn apart over the next four years.
Russ Stresing
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Brian, Your Fox talking point has already been addressed. The "STD" money has already been withdrawn at the urging of President Obama. The President doesn't write bills, though he can try to influence them, as President Obama has been doing with his bipartisan outreach. This might help you catch up to the pace of events. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1874683,00.html As far as when the money goes out, fiscal year 2009 will see a $92 billion dollar outlay, fiscal year 2010 (which begins Oct. 1st, 2009) will see $225 billion. You're right in saying the money should probably come out sooner rather than later. http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=199 And you probably don't know about your expert, Dick Morris', history, so here's a little primer on the man. "On August 29, 1996, Morris resigned from the Clinton campaign after reports surfaced that he had been involved with a prostitute. A tabloid newspaper had obtained and published a set of photographs of Morris and the woman on a Washington, D.C., hotel balcony. The Electronic Telegraph reported unverified claims that in order to impress the woman, Sherry Rowlands, Morris invited her to listen in on conversations with the President. The Telegraph also alleged that Morris had a preference for "toe-sucking and dominance," and that he regaled Rowlands with a version of "Popeye the Sailor Man," performed in his underpants. Morris resigned on the same day that Bill Clinton spoke and accepted the nomination at the Democratic National Convention. In his resignation statement, he said that "while I served I sought to avoid the limelight because I did not want to become the message. Now, I resign so I will not become the issue." In his response, President Clinton praised Morris as a "friend" and thanked him for his years of service. Morris was featured on two consecutive covers of Time magazine. The September 2, 1996 issue, which was released before the prostitute story broke, featured Morris as "The Man Who Has Clinton's Ear." The following week, the cover featured Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, and the headline read "The Morris Mess: After the Fall." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Morris
Beth Kinsley
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Thanks for clarifying that Russ. I was just listening to Fox on satellite radio on my way to work and they were still complaining about the millions of dollars for STD prevention being in the bill. If it's no longer in the bill, they need to stop misinforming people. And - from the sounds of it, the money was to be used to expand family planning services. That's not the same as STD prevention.
Jay Lazarony
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I'm not sure if the Stimulus package is going to work or not, it seems there is a whole bunch of nonsense in it. Time will tell. Russ,I guess you're not a Dick Morris fan, just remember his mentor was Bill Clinton, and we all know what his Oval office activities included.
Daniel Jones
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Morris wasn't the "mentor" of Bill Clinton, he was a political adviser that Clinton rightfully threw under the bus after he was caught with a prostitute, whom, if I may be frank had lick his toes, that earns you credibility among Republicans I guess. The stimulus will work, I'll bet on it.
Daniel Jones
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With Republicans that is when they aren't taking cues from their new party leader/chief policy adviser Rush Limbaugh.
Kelly Hansen
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STD prevention and Birth Control were two different items included in the bill. The birth control was removed yet the STD prevention remains. Both items fall under left social ideology and have no place within a 'stimulus package' proposal which is being sold as intending to help our struggling economy. The actual title page of the document reads: Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. In regard to Dick Morris, if sexual immorality is a measuring device by which we are to judge others in regard to their knowledge of bills before the congress, we are in a great deal of trouble.
Jay Lazarony
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Rush isn't our advisor, just a good voice during this crazy time in our history. He makes some good points, it's okay to disagree with the President,
Patrick D. Burk
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Has anyone even looked at the comedian Rush Limbaugh's background or Mr. Morris'? Do not judge, lest thee be judged BUT I am not comfortable with any of them propheting for anyone. Rush is a failed sportscaster from Long Island and Dick Morris is a trained spin doctor being used by the "Fair and Balanced Network, not owned by a US Citizen who donates more money to Fanatic Conservative causes than anyone".... and you can quote me on that. We certainly dont need Spin Doctors from either side. I am not sure why there is STD funding in the bill BUT I am willing to give this idea a try. I wish there was more on infastructure. Jay it is OK to disagree with the President... Lord knows I lived through George Bush.
Jay Lazarony
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Hey Patrick- disagree not disrespectful, I lived through those years too, and the man made some mistakes as all Presidents do. I will say this, he kept me and my family safe! and I thank him for that.
Andrew Erbell
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Rush Limbaugh is from Cape Girardeau, MO. He was never a sportscaster on Long Island.
Richard Gahagan
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Socialism anyone? The dems screwed it up forcing banks to lend money to people that couldn't pay it back. The gov't now pretty much owns the banks that are left and the largest insurance company, now they want socialized medicine, ask Canada how they like that. Now whos going to pay for this so called stimulus package, who paid for the bank bailout? the auto bail out? Ya think that maybe future Taxes will have to pay for it, I wonder. Don't worry the dems know who should get the money,they know how to redistribute - they'll certainly not send most of NY's "allocation" to New York City.
Kelly Hansen
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As a follow-up, has anyone even looked at the bill? As I scroll the first several pages, I see the following: *20 million to EPA - ??? *1 million to VA - crumbs for our vet programs - ??? *6 million for the Department of Labor ??? *2 million for NASA *2 million for the National Science Foundation all mixed in among funding for Labor, HUD, transportation where the money is most needed. The restrictions given to the spenders of the money: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool." Good, no swimming pools for NASA and the EPA. Good stuff: Increased in funding for WIC, emergency food assistance, afterschool feeding for children... More pork: *350 million to establish the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program ??? *2.825 Billion dollars for wireless and broadband development ??? *650 million for the digital converter box program ??? *400 million for habitat restoration ??? *600 million for climate sensors ??? I've only made it to page 52 of a 647 page document... Is there anyone who wants to get this done right or is it more important to just get it done no matter what? When a drunk is suffering from the DTs, he or she medicates with a six-pack of the drink of choice. It calms and cuts the jitters yet it doesn't fix the problem. We need not a quick fix, but the right fix.
Patrick D. Burk
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Well he worked under the Radio Names of Rusty Sharp and Jeff Christy. He also worked for the Kansas City Royals and started working for radio after High School. Try to find some biographical info for those years. He has been married and divorced three times and was addicted to pain killers after back surgery. I can go on and on....just don't see where in his background he became educated in things like economics, public engineering, diplomacy or military strategy. Again, in my world, I defend his right to say what he wants to say. I just wish more people would look at his "credentials".... Thanks for listening...
Gabor Deutsch
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I dont think there is anything wrong with allocating some money for the prevention of STD's. If it creates jobs and prevents diseases from being spread that sounds kind of positive to me. I think the prevention and education part would help save money in the long run for health care and medications on people that indulge in risky behaviour and contract something. Maybe just ignoring it will make it go away and hiv/aids only happens to people in Africa.
Philip Anselmo
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Kelly: Congrats. I couldn't get through this document at all. I ended up getting some of the broad strokes from what I researched on the Web site for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Suffice it to say, from what she mentions, there is a lot worth saving in this bill. But you've got some great points. Why should we need to spend $650 million to help people watch television. I'm sure my life will go on if I miss an episode of Lost. I would like to find a site, like Pelosi's, that details all the wasteful spending in this bill. Then we could do a better compare and contrast, which our representatives should all have done to begin with. I'm curious about all this money going to broadband service. What is the logic there?
Russ Stresing
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Fast forward to 2009: Wouldn't expanded broadband access fall under "infrastructure"? http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2006/01/6037.ars
Kelly Hansen
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Philip: Yes, there is good in the bill but not enough sugar to encourage me to swallow the entire bitter pill as it is currently written. Try reading A 40-Year Wish List at the Wall Street Journal. Though not a list of items considered by many to be pork, it actually metes out some of the details most people do not know. In our home, a great stimulus would be to give us a break from federal income taxes for a year. I would imagine this would help many other families as well. If you google "stimulus bill pork", you will find many hits which are surprisingly not considered 'right-wing' sources. That 11 Dems voted against the bill should ring even louder than the fact that no Reps voted for it. Allen Boyd, Bobby Bright, Jim Cooper, Brad Ellsworth, Parker Griffith, Paul Kanjorski, Frank, Kratovil, Walt Minnick, Collin Peterson, Heath Shuler, Gene Taylor are taking a great risk politically.
Brian Hillabush
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They say it is going to broadband service, but I'm sure it'll end up in the hands of the Verizons, AT&Ts and Sprints, which will just keep the money in the company. Essentially a bailout to the major phone/wireless Internet companies. Obama is not starting off very well. He's making some serious mistakes right away. I'm not saying RINO John McCain would have been much better, but at least he had Palin on his side to help make some good choices.
Brian Hillabush
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Kelly, that was a solid comment. I read the WSJ story and I see even more junk in this bill. I miss George Bush already, and I wasn't a big fan. At least he spent our money to protect the country instead of all that garbage.
Chris Charvella
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"at least he had Palin on his side to help make some good choices." Pray tell, what choices would those have been....
Chris Charvella
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Also, that WSJ 'article' is an OPINION piece, not to be confused with journalism. Quoting op-eds and other opinion pieces as if they are factual reporting is a mistake. Coincidentally Fox News makes this mistake all the time. Make sure you head to factcheck.org before accepting the things you read in that section of any newspaper.
Russ Stresing
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This myth that President Bush's presidency started after Sept. 11th needs to be laid to rest. For the record, he kept us safe only after his wake-up call on that date. Using the logic the "he kept us safe" means that President Clinton kept us even safer. And the money spent on the occupation of Iraq has not been shown to have made us any safer. In fact, Bush's tax cuts while the country was on war footing are not only seen as a big mistake in hindsight, but were drawing concerned analysis even as they were being rammed through by enthusiastic fellow travelers. http://www.cbpp.org/1-24-03tax-fact.htm Admittedly, the stimulus bill isn't to everybody's liking. Good thing its not finished yet. It has to go to the Senate and then back to the House. After much energy gets expended on the preliminaries, it might be expected that a much more finely crafted bill will be presented to President Obama for his signature.
Brian Hillabush
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Palin is very conservative all around and I agree with what her plans for the future are. She is already preparing her run. http://www.sarahpac.com/ After Obama is done giving money to the poor and the rich, while forgetting about the middle class, creating social programs that are going to raise our taxes and cutting our military back so we get attacked again, I'm hoping that a lot of Democrats will do the right thing in 2012.
Russ Stresing
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Brian, As a Democrat, I am hoping you're right in your prediction that Sarah Palin runs next time around. If she does, you can probably safely count on a lot of Democrats doing the right thing. Just like they did last November. Thanks for your encouraging words.
Kelly Hansen
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Chris: First, no one quoted The WSJ - it was a suggested read for someone who read a pro-bill opinion from Nancy Pelosi and sought a counter-read. Second, please link to the items in the article which are not factual. I would definitely read anything you provide - even opinion pieces. Third, perhaps the discussion would be better served if you let us know why you support the bill instead of commenting on comments. I am anxious to learn your perspective in regard to the proposed stimulus package.
Chris Charvella
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Here's one for starters: 'Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.' This a statement of pure opinion with no factual backup. At first glance it looks harmless; there are numbers sprinkled into the statement and there is even an authoritative sounding remark on value per dollar. The problem is that there is no mathematical backup for the theory that only 12 cents of every dollar will provide growth.
Russ Stresing
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Tax breaks are a concept that many people might have a hard time questioning in any way except for the fact that, historically, they have not been shown to be stimulative. People tend to save, not spend, tax breaks and the higher up the income ladder you go, the greater the percentage of them gets saved, not spent. And spending is really what the economy needs right now. http://www.news-record.com/content/2009/01/28/article/consumers_get_conf... And a little something from the other side of New York City's media street. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/opinion/29thu1.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=the%...
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Here's another one: Income Transfer Payments are defined in the editorial as payments for doing nothing at all. While this may be partly true based on a person's stand on public assistance programs, we must remember that Income Transfer Payments aso include Social Security, a fact that is neatly skipped over in the article. In the article's defense, there is a side breakdown of Income Transfer Payments, but Social Security is listed as SSI. If I walked into a room of average folks and started talking about SSI without defining the acronym first no one would know what the hell I was talking about.
Daniel Jones
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Sarah Palin for President? Sarah...Palin....for President? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! At any rate, I'll have to keep my remarks brief for the moment, and agree with Chris and Russ.
Chris Charvella
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We have another one here: 'If you think the intention here is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 that "No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools." Horrors: Some money might go to nonunion teachers.' This is a thinly veiled attack on the public school system. The author of this piece is an obvious proponent of private schools and the Republican backed voucher system. I'm up for a healthy debate on the value of the voucher system but to say that $66 billion for education won't do anything to help education is a little silly.
Daniel Jones
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Oh yeah, it is rather amusing that the same people (the "moral values" crowd who eviscerated Bill Clinton for his own infidelities are taking their lines from one guy who enjoys the services of prostitutes and another guy who had quite a well publicized problem with pills.
Daniel Jones
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Here's whats actually involved in the stimulus, 275 billion dollars in tax cuts, including cuts in payroll taxes and targeted credits for college and first time home buyers. 90 billion in infrastructure investments, which will be used for construction jobs and other positions that can't be outsourced and will provide new revenue from these workers, education investments to help school districts lower property taxes.....and Medicaid matching rates, so the states (and then the counties) aren't stuck with Mediciad costs. These measures will help the economy avoid stagflation, which will come about if we just provide another tax cut without any further action. Don't just take my word for it though. http://news.morningstar.com/newsnet/ViewNews.aspx?article=/DJ/2009011410...
Russ Stresing
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Going further with the WSJ article author's objection to the bill's (his characterization, not mine) "income transfer payments", part of what he apparently objects to is the extension of unemployment benefits and expanded food stamps funding. Given the number of comments appended to this post that bemoan the stimulus bill while "Major companies are announcing big layoffs, so many people are losing their homes...", it might seem we can come to somewhat of a consensus of opinion that this portion of the money, at least, makes sense. There are likely people who are currently doing something rather than 'doing nothing' who will need that assistance who never imagined they ever would.
Daniel Jones
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Hilly-Did you even read what was proposed in the bill?
Brian Hillabush
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Daniel, I just news stories on Fox and from some different Web sites. My objection is the amount of pork in this thing and the fact that with the Democrats controlling the nation now, coming out with such a huge bill with so much money going to places it is not needed, is wrong. Can you honestly tell me that you agree with this bill?
Daniel Jones
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Yes, I do. I believe that the spending is targeted the right way to revive the economy beginning at the local level through infrastructure and payroll tax cuts. This is a pro-growth strategy that like I've said before, I'm willing to say will have positive impacts. Call it "socialism" or whatever one wants too, fine, it doesn't change the fact that we're facing down real stagflation if we just rely on the same economic strategy.
Brian Hillabush
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This has been a great forum, but I'm stepping out. It is obvious that the Republicans totally disagree with it and the Democrats are mostly for it.
Mark Potwora
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Its hard to believe that any stimulus type package, good or bad can be put together in less than a month..Most people take longer than that to make a major purchase decision..Why not take more time and weed out all the non stimulus BS..I thought we pay a tax on gas for roads and bridges..Where is that money..Isn't that infrastructure..Credits for college and teaching kids about STD's is not...Maybe if colleges lowered their tuition and also I thought all schools taught sex-ed,Then that much more money could be spent on so called infrastructure...
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Dan, While we wait for this to work, if it does, where do we get the money for it? China? Maybe I missed this part, but I have not seen where it is coming from.
Andrew Erbell
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Yes, the US Govt. will be selling more notes to China, and any other foreign countries willing to buy them to secure these funds.
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Statements coming out of the halls of Congress seem to indicate that while the Senate and House Democratic leadership is still supporting President Obama's call for bipartisanship, the Democratic "rank and file members" (how's that for a misnomer when we're talking about Senators and Congressmen?) are in favor of ramming it through as is. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/29/dems-to-leadership-cut-go_n_162... Personally, I think that's as ridiculous and counter-productive an attitude today as it was when their Republican opponents controlled both houses of Congress and loosened regulation and oversight of the banking, insurance and investment industries and helped create this disaster. It might seem vengefully satisfying for a moment, but its not going to be constructive in the long run. This stimulus package is just one of the first steps needed to right the ship of state and if it goes crashing ahead with a 'damn the torpedoes' attitude, it may end up leaving us dead in the water when other issues are tackled. What bipartisan agreement there is in informed circles outside the legislative branch concerning the current economic situation seems to fall on the side of the governmental intervention. Even one of Senator John McCain's campaign advisers and one of President Reagan's economists are in favor of stimulus spending. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-stimulus_bdjan18,0,52... On balance, doing nothing seems the worst option. Personally, I don't believe that tax cuts will increase economic activity. If I get one, I'll use it to pay down bills, but given that it won't amount to much in the overall yearly household budget, its likely it won't have any impact on my spending whatsoever. We live pretty close to the bone and always have. Another $34 or $50 a month won't show up that much and the last stimulus check we got went towards bills. No one except our creditors were 'stimulated' in that exchange. Its my hope that the urgency of the current situation will compel our lawmakers to lean out this bill and get it done forthwith. My fear is that desperate, instinctual obstruction by Republicans will engender a reflexive, knee-jerk vindictive reaction from Dems.

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