Stimulus struggle hints at a party showdown

Republicans and Democrats each held a firm line, foreshadowing tougher struggles ahead.
By Janet Hook
Los Angeles Times
February 15, 2009
Reporting from Washington — The monthlong struggle over the stimulus plan left behind a smoking battlefield of partisanship, but it also set the stage for a political collision on a scale seldom seen in Washington — a showdown on a succession of even more divisive issues that could shadow the future of the two major parties.

Against the background of the worst economic crisis in three-quarters of a century, Congress passed the $787-billion economic recovery bill without a single GOP vote in the House, and only three Republican votes in the Senate, the bare minimum to avoid a paralyzing filibuster. Economists across the political spectrum widely agree that some sort of federal action on an unprecedented scale is urgently needed.

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