Not as far as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney knows.
From today’s briefing.
Q Given that emphasis on the bipartisan nature of these proposals, has he consulted with Republican members of Congress as they develop these ideas?
MR. CARNEY: I don’t have specific conversations or meetings to read out to you. The President has consulted widely, beyond the administration. .
So Obama is going to propose something next week the White House says Republicans will like, but they are at the very least not closely coordinating with Republicans – or Carney surely would have known about it.
But this is not political:
It’s not a political package because it is actually the precisely opposite of it. We’re talking about September of 2011, more than a year before the next election.
More than a year before the next election? Nothing could be political at this point. Except the president’s whole campaign, which launched in April, a year and a half before the election.
Republicans, I’m sure, will be told what’s in this thing the night before it’s announced. Actually the day of, since the White House won’t want the plan to leak its way to reporters too soon.
And BTW, remember this is a JOBS plan, not another stimulus. Because stimulus has become a dirty word.
If Republicans are calling it a stimulus, and the White House is calling it a jobs plan, you’ll know for sure this is no more than politics.
Having a major hand in the new stimulus proposal – that’s what we’re calling it around here, because that’s what the White House called the last ones – will surely be Alan Krueger, whom Obama tapped today as his new Council of Economic Adivsers chairman.
I’m sure, having worked within the administration for the last two years at Treasury, that Krueger will have lots of new ideas about how to turn around the economy.
It’s like trying to get more comfortable in bed by turning over the pillow. It’s still the same pillow.