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INSIDE WASHINGTON

Congressional Insiders Poll

Prominent bloggers on the left and right respond to these questions on NationalJournal.com.

Q: Should President Obama push Congress next year for a vote on "card-check" legislation?

Democrats (32 votes)

 
Yes, Obama should push     47 percent
No, Obama should not push  47 percent
Other (volunteered)         6 percent

e>

Yes

"Yes, but.... The overall challenge is stabilizing and invigorating the economy, but the No. 1 domestic issue is providing health care for every American, and that should precede an issue like this."

 

No

"He will not need to."

"I don't think much pushing will be needed."

"He should voice his continued support for the Employee Free Choice Act but should not push for a vote until the economic recovery is in full swing... which probably means 2011."

 

Other

"We should just do it."

"Congress will push this because it is morally right and also part of restoring our American economy."

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Q: And do you think that card-check legislation will be enacted next year?

Yes, it will be enacted  56 percent
No, it won't be enacted  28 percent
Other (volunteered)      16 percent

e>

Yes

"But with modifications for small businesses."

"Probably. Overcoming a filibuster will be easier if a compromise is struck."

No

"I think that the House is likely to pass the bill, but the Senate is unlikely to pursue the issue."

Other

"Perhaps. There are at least hundreds of must-do's!"

"It's too close to call."

"Will depend on what concessions are given. Everyone is hurting."

"Of course it will pass the House. But if the business community can get past their fire-breathing rhetoric, there are some compelling economic arguments against it."

Q: Should President Obama push Congress next year for a vote on "card-check" legislation?

Republicans (31 votes)

Yes, Obama should push      10 percent
No, Obama should not push   84 percent
Other (volunteered)          6 percent

e>

Yes

"From a Republican perspective, absolutely. This will drive business and industry away from Democrat candidates and causes, and will be a potent issue in 2010."

No

"Even some Democrats realize the secret ballot is a right of workers."

"As we are seeing with Detroit, a powerful union does workers no good when it means employers are run into the ground."

"A scaled-down version will pass. Bill as currently written will not pass."

"If he does, it will galvanize opposition to his administration."

"Only if he wants to destroy any chance at bipartisanship."

"&*@!$, no!!! And it's interesting that Democrats will participate in an anonymous poll but don't like the idea of letting people vote anonymously."

Other

"It's Big Labor's top priority, so of course he will."

"A vote won't be necessary, just have the members [of Congress] sign some cards."

Q: And do you think that card-check legislation will be enacted next year?

Yes, it will be enacted  23 percent
No, it won't be enacted  68 percent
Other (volunteered)      10 percent

e>

Yes

"Obama and the Dems owe a huge debt to organized labor, and they are out of excuses to push off the unions' No. 1 priority."

No

"The American people are wildly opposed to this payoff for Big Labor."

"Will miss a filibuster-proof Senate margin by one vote."

"41 strong in the Senate."

Other

"I'd answer that, but let me check with my union boss first."

Q: How large should the economic stimulus package expected to pass in January be?

Democrats (32 votes)

Average $566.4 billion

$0 to $250 billion             6 percent
$251 billion to $500 billion   6 percent
$501 billion to $750 billion  53 percent
$751 billion or more          25 percent
No number provided             9 percent

e>

$501 billion to $750 billion

$500B-$600B. "The $500-$600 billion figure being thrown around by economists makes sense. Who knows if it will work, but we can't do worse than the Bush clowns."

$600B. "TARP for the American people because, unlike the banks, the people may actually spend it."

$700B. "If Congress can give a $700 billion lifeline to the financial industry, Congress can also give one to the American people who need it."

$700B. "Should be a similar amount to the economic recovery bill passed earlier this year."

$751 billion or more

$850B. "Even the conservative economists say something of this magnitude is necessary."

$1T. "Need to focus on physical infrastructure like roads, bridges, water-treatment facilities to create jobs now, and human infrastructure like health care and education and renewable-energy projects for the future."

$1T. "What the hell -- a trillion is the new billion!"

Other

"It should be large enough to have an effect... in the range of $500 billion, and it should be forward-leaning... green infrastructure and broadband."

"As large as the tax increases."

"Enough to create at least 2.5 million jobs, whatever that costs."

Q: How large should the economic stimulus package expected to pass in January be?

Republicans (30 votes)

Average $183.6 billion

$0 to $250 billion             47 percent
$251 billion to $500 billion   27 percent
$501 billion to $750 billion   10 percent
$751 billion or more            0 percent
No number provided             17 percent

e>

$0 to $250 billion

$0. "The stimulus package currently being suggested by the Dems will harm the economy rather than help it. So I would argue against any amount going to it."

$0. "It's already become clear that this public works bill will not be an economic stimulus but rather a special-interest stimulus."

$0. "These packages have no track record of producing long-term economic stability."

$0. "Taxpayers do not have the money."

$0. "Tax cuts only."

$251 billion to $500 billion

$270B. "Way under Obama, which shows my feelings about his package."

$300B. "Including tax cuts: Two years -- $300 billion."

Other

"Taxpayers will find the Democrats' final dollar figure astonishing."

"Best stimulus would be across-the-board tax relief, not deficit spending."

"How about we use tax cuts as an economic stimulus?"

"Extend tax cuts and cut corporate taxes to create real stimulus."

"Putting a dollar figure on it to measure [the stimulus] is exactly the wrong thing to do! If it incentivizes investment, energy efficiency, and U.S. manufacturing, it will be more effective at $10 billion than $100 billion would be for rebates, unemployment compensation, or food stamps, even though some of that is needed."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher Dodd, Edward Kennedy, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Ken Salazar, Jon Tester; Reps. Tom Allen, Robert Andrews, Michael Arcuri, Tammy Baldwin, Melissa Bean, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Rick Boucher, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, Chris Carney, James Clyburn, Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Artur Davis, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Kendrick Meek, Jim Moran, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Jan Schakowsky, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, John Spratt, Pete Stark, John Tanner, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Chris Van Hollen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, and Peter Welch.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, Jim Bunning, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, Mel Martinez, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, John Sununu, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Michele Bachmann, Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Chris Cannon, Eric Cantor, Michael Castle, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Tom Davis, John Doolittle, David Dreier, Phil English, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Pete Hoekstra, Bob Inglis, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Ray LaHood, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Jim McCrery, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Deborah Pryce, Adam Putnam, Dave Reichert, Tom Reynolds, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Christopher Shays, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Zach Wamp, and Joe Wilson.

This article appears in the December 20, 2008 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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