Democrats want 60 Senate votes to ensure trouble-free passage of Obama’s stimulus package. Republicans have been vacillating between “block that kick” and, in the immortal words of Van Halen, “everybody wants some, I want some too.” Yesterday the latter tendency prevailed as the Senate passed a Republican-backed tax credit for homebuyers worth $18.5 billion by voice-vote as an amendment to the stimulus package. The 10 percent credit would be for new or existing residences, up to $15,000 (previously homebuyers could only get $7,500 on new homes).
Republican leader Mitch McConnell (pictured) praised the amendment and spoke optimistically about settling differences in the coming days, though he continues to insist on cutting its overall size and, as a Republican politician must, using odd-sounding provisions as examples of its wastefulness.
Conservatives fume at what they see as McConnell’s sinister bipartisanship. “You have to kill the behemoth,” says Michelle Malkin. “Sen. McConnell should ask President Obama to pull it and start over,” says the Wall Street Journal. The Senator may regard them as a horse-trader might regard a crazed preacher yelling about Pharisees: as an interruption of the business at hand. But it’s possible McConnell is playing a deeper game to sabotage the whole thing. We’ll know soon enough.