The Fate of America is in their hands. Why are Republicans who neither voted for the stimulus nor likely to vote for the eventual conference report even in the room? Is there any reasonable change that can be made that would convince them to vote for the final bill? Who cares what they think?
Washington is a strange place.
Update: Oh, that makes more sense.
The conference committee is a fascinating and weird thing. I remember when Congress was passing the Campaign Finance Reform Act in 2001, Lott refused to give a slot to McCain, the man who had written the bill. It seems to be a way crazy powerful tool for party leaders, but I'm not aware of any of them actually using it substantively.
One thing I would worry about is the 4 Republicans (who all voted against the bill and against any compromise) getting 1 or 2 liberal dems to destroy the senate compromise.
Ambinder's "fale" conference seems an apt description of the whole process.
BTW, my word verification is "maters". Not sure if that has any relevance. Maybe a sign of restored family planning funding?
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