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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Democratic Chatter 2-3-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

President Barack Obama remains confident of passage of his Stimulus Bill - the President began this process with a promise of "no pork" in the bill and that promise is receiving serious questions as review of the many provisions in the 819 Billion bill passed by the House continues. Already, 75 million for anti-smoking programs and another 400 million for STD and HIV programs have been removed.

Meanwhile, some Republican Senators have drafted their own 713 Billion version of a Stimulus bill saying the Democratic version is a spending bill not a stimulus bill. has more here.

Obama will interview with all the major television networks today as he takes his case for the Stimulus bill to the voters. Look for the interviews to air tonight during prime time.


How about that Bailout bill? Details are emerging of the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by financial institutions to lobby Congress prior to the first 350 Billion being passed out. has more here.

New Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to spell out new rules for the remaining 350 Billion of the Bailout bill. The Wall Street Journal has more here.

An interesting note: the bill is entitled the "Troubled Assets Relief Plan" (TARP) and not one Homeowner who is facing foreclosure has received assistance to date. is reporting this will be part of the revamped procedures introduced by Geithner. You can read more here.


Eric Holder confirmed as Attorney General - after several weeks of Republican grousing about his role in the pardon of Marc Rich and concern over possible prosecution of those involved in harsh interrogation techniques. The vote last night was 75-21 with the 21 against all being Republicans. has more here.


Tom Daschle still has the President's support - in spite of being another Cabinet nominee with tax problems. Daschle received another major voice of support when the Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus expressed his support of his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle also apologized to everyone possible last night. The NY Times has more here.


President Obama will name Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) Commerce Secretary this morning - has more here. This should help in the bipartisan spirit. Despite the rumors this would help the Democrats reach the magic number of 60 in the Senate, the replacement for Gregg will be a Republican.

Governor John Lynch (D-NH) has publicly said he will not select a person who might tip the scales in the Senate to the Democrats. Early indications is the person to replace Gregg will be Bonnie Newman, a moderate Republican. has more here.


Vetting process for Obama administration comes under scrutiny - It was suppose to be a new administration with harsher ethics guidelines with a vetting process that originally was criticized for being too intrusive. But, then Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) withdrew from consideration for Commerce Secretary due to an ongoing "pay-to-play" investigation involving the state. The, more recently, it was learned both Tom Dashle for HHS Secretary and Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary had unpaid back taxes problems. In addition, deputy counsel for Economic Affairs Neal Wolin was discovered to have ethics problems due to his previous employment with the Hartford Group. has more here. 10:47 AM ET Update - add Obama appointee Nancy Killefer to those with tax problems. She withdrew from consideration for chief performance officer. has more here.


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