Monday, February 9, 2009

Stimulating the Stimulus. Where We Are Now And What We Need To Do Next

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday to pass their version of the stimulus plan. As you probably already know, the Senate "compromise" version cuts some of the most vital stimulus spending in favor of tax cuts that leading economists say won't create a single job. 

Once the Senate passes the bill, it has to go back to something called a Conference Committee. The Committee will be made up of key House and Senate members from both sides of the isle who will negotiate the differences in the bill. Once the differences are resolved, it goes back to both the House and Senate for one more vote.

Here is where the rubber meets the road. 

In a perfect world, the House would put back all the vital stimulus spending the Senate took out. But even though the new bill would pass the House easily, it would face a firewall of Republican opposition. And the three Republican Senators - Specter, Snowe and Collins - who are voting for the current Senate version of the bill, have publicly stated they would withdraw support if this happened.

This is a really big problem for us. Because of procedural issues I won't go into right now, the Senate must vote to approve by a 3/5 margin to approve the new bill. 

Not to overcome a filibuster, but TO ACTUALLY PASS THE BILL. 

This is important to know, because as much as I love the idea of forcing Mitch McConnell to stand in the Senate Chamber reading the phone book for 48 hours while wearing a pair of adult diapers, this won't happen. 

We have to have those 60 votes.

So the goal here is to get as much of the stimulus spending back in the bill as possible without losing those "moderate" Senators in the process.

This is where we come in.



WE ARE THE CHANGE: A facebook group dedicated to following the latest developments of the stimulus bill. In a week, we are up to over 1,600 members.


Call your home state Senators, your House of Representative Members, the White House AND your Governor (even Republican Governors are supporting the bill -their states need the money) 

Tell them you want the stimulus spending removed in the Senate restored. Don't be shy. Ask for EVERYTHING BACK. We need to create a groundswell of support to make sure Congress and the White know we mean business. 

Last week the phone calls ran a 100 to 1 against. This week, with your help, they'll run a 100 to 1 IN FAVOR.

Here is a link to find your Senator's contact information. If you can't get through to them in Washington DC, call one of their offices in their home state. The impact will be the same

Don't know who you congress member is? Go to this link, type in your address and find out.


Write to you local newspapers, call in to talk radio. Tell them the same thing. has a great tool to help you write a letter to your local medial outlets.You type in your zip code, and just follow the directions to send effective letters to all the major news outlets in you area. 


Use all your social networks - facebook, family, friends, coworkers to spread the word to and educate. FOLKS WON'T SUPPORT WHAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND.

I've uploaded some very simple, very easy to read documents on the stimulus plan that explains the issues in layman's terms. The two-page analysis is a "cliff notes" version of an analysis of the House version of the plan by Mark Zandi, Chief Economist for Moody's and former economic campaign adviser for John McCain


This weekend, over 3,000 Economic Recovery house parties took place over the weekend. A lot of you reading this attended. How did it go? What were the questions? The consensus? Please go to the WE ARE THE CHANGE facebook group and report back to the group's wall. Feedback is important.

In Los Angeles, the local FOX-TV station actually managed to do a decent story on one of the houseparty meetings I went to in the mid-Wilshire area. They reported on the consensus of the group - namely that we want $40 billion in state spending restored, since a huge chunk of that was coming to California.

Here's the link to the video, I apologize in advance for the Hustler ad you have to sit through to get to the story...... :-)

Again, thank you all for what you do. With your energy and commitment, we will win this thing!

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