Actually ... this may not be as bad as it looks.
The Senate has now passed the bill as well ... so, it's a done deal at this point. All that has to happen now is that Obama has to sign it.
While it appears that the Dems - and the President - caved on this bill, I'm not so sure that's really the case.
The fact is ... Obama ain't got it like he thought he would. He totally
miscalculated his ability to 'cross party lines' and make (political) friends with the Republicans ... or at least enough of them to support his agenda. And that creates a really BIG problem for him. He has to revise any and all strategies now, because there aren't enough Democrats in the Senate for him to run amok and pass through any legislation that he wants to.
He can have his way with getting things through the House. The Repubs are completely impotent there. However ... when it comes to the Senate, 60 is the magic number for getting most bills to a vote ... there are 56 Dems and 2 Independents that usually vote with them. He is going to need Republicans. At least 2. (And actually 3 because losing Ted Kennedy is going to be a MAJOR blow that can change things for him dramatically in the Senate!) He thought he had that many and more. But he thought wrong.
What happened with this bill wasn't really a "cave in". He is lucky to get what he got ... which is most
of what he wanted. And he had to scratch, beg and grovel for that.
Also, many things that got taken out of this bill will be able to be put back in through other (normal) means of gov't spending. When the House (who controls the normal money-spending of the government) gets ready to appropriate an education budget, that $1 billion for Head Start will most likely be put back in. And ... there's a better chance of getting it through because more Republicans will be concerned with how it looks if they deny money for schools and children and their education.
Right now, President Obama has been given a big chunk of money to play with. It may not be as much as he wanted, but it's pretty damn close. And the tax cuts, @ 35% of the total bill isn't all bad either. The House made sure that it's not all going to businesses (although some of those are small businesses). We D. People will get a piece of that percentage, too!
The Repubs are counting on the fact that this stimulus package won't work. But if they're wrong ... and let's face it ... they have been for the last 8 years, at least! ... many more of them could very well lose their jobs in the next election, if the Dems play their cards right!
And that would be a good thing.
Let's just hope that the President is as smart as he (and we) thinks he is and that this is all going to work out the right way, since it is not going to go 'as planned'.
Obama got most of what he wanted. What he didn't get now, he can probably get later.