The new Chief of Staff lays out some legislative strategy:
Emanuel rejected the idea of tying a pending economic stimulus plan to a proposed free-trade agreement with Colombia in order to win President George W. Bush’s support during a post-election lame duck session of Congress.
“You don’t link those essential needs to some other trade deal,” he said. “The lame duck is for immediate things — that’s what should be the focus right now.”
Krugman laid out the correct strategy for dealing with President Lame Duck yesterday. Congressional leaders should completely ignore Bush, and without seeking his input or approval write and pass a stimulus package that, among other things, includes a generous amount of aid to state and local governments to forestall the need for cutbacks on their end. Second, you hope enough members of congress vote for it to override a veto. If that does work, then third you hope the president signs it. If that doesn’t work, then the president-elect promises to sign a repassed version of the law with equivalent state and local aid as soon as he takes office. Since state and local officials will know the money is coming one way or another, they can start doing their budget planning as if Bush had signed the bill even if he vetoes it.