Feel the bipartisan centrism-ness.
Senate Democrats were near a deal Friday to win passage of their economic recovery plan, as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel came to the Capitol to meet with moderate Republicans and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called a Democratic caucus for the evening.
After days of watching from the sidelines, Emanuel’s sudden arrival was telling, and two Democratic sources said the outlines of an agreement are now in place. “We have a deal,” said one official.
The final price tag we're hearing is $780 billion, about $150 billion less than where the Senate bill currently stands, but only about $30 billion less than the House version. The big question is what was cut. MSNBC and The New York Times have stories, but there's nothing very specific.
Keep in mind that this is not the end. In fact, there should be MORE pressure from the bottom up right now. There's going to be a conference committee where House and Senate negotiators will reconcile the final package. Keep in mind that a conference bill cannot be filibustered.
President Obama has a Monday night press conference and appearances across the country next week to put on a full-court press to get this passed. He needs to be in the room with the conference committee as well. It may be early, but the Presidency is in many ways on the line if this package is ineffective.