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Barack Obama said he'd restore the economy in a bipartisan way, but debate over his stimulus package sounds all too familiar. We hear about his visit to Capitol Hill today and the prospects for consensus. Also, President Obama and Middle East envoy George Mitchell reach out to Arabs and Muslims. Congress, in the meantime, is in the process of sending its first bill to the Obama White House. We hear about Lilly Ledbetter and gender-discrimination wages.

Banner image: President Obama speaks to the press after meeting with the House Republican Conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFPGetty Images

Main Topic House Republicans Say No Deal to Obama Stimulus Plan

Polls show that everybody wants to fix the economy, but grassroots partisans don’t agree about how to do it, and that’s reflected in Washington. President Obama went to Capitol Hill today but, even before he got there, House Republican leaders called for a “no” vote on his stimulus package, and the President’s much publicized courting of John McCain appears less than successful. The Arizona Senator called the plan “just the old spending practices of liberal Democrats.” Is the Obama plan the best way to create jobs or a grab-bag of special interest giveaways? Does it properly balance tax cuts and spending? 

Peter Baker, New York Times (@peterbakernyt)
Gary Langer, Langer Research Associates and ABC News (@garylanger)
Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research (@DeanBaker13)
Ron Utt, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation

Making News Obama Goes on Al Arabiya, George Mitchell Goes to the Middle East 6 MIN, 5 SEC

As a candidate, President Obama promised to reach out to Arabs and Muslims, especially in the Middle East. His special envoy, George Mitchell, is already in Egypt to discuss the fate of the Gaza Strip; and the President granted his first interview to the satellite channel AlArabiya. Jeffrey Fleishman is Cairo Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times.

Jeffrey Fleishman, Cairo Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times

Reporter's Notebook Congress Prepares to Send Fair Pay Bill to Obama 7 MIN, 57 SEC

The House today was expected to join the Senate and pass the first bill to go to the desk of President Obama. It would make it easier for women workers to combat wage discrimination. In 2007, the US Supreme Court ruled against Lilly Ledbetter, even though she proved she was paid less than her male colleagues for doing the same work at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Alabama. Ledbetter rode Barack Obama’s inaugural train from Philadelphia to Washington and he promised her the law would be changed. Debora Brake, who teaches law at the University of Pittsburgh, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.

Deborah Brake, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

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