Archive for the ‘negotiation’ Category

McCain: Obama needs to consult on stimulus

January 30, 2009

Former presidential rival John McCain expressed disappointment on Friday that President Barack Obama has not negotiated with Republicans over a huge economic stimulus plan and said he is working on an alternative package.

By Steve Holland

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) walks through the halls of the Capitol ... 
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) walks through the halls of the Capitol in Washington January 21, 2009.(Mitch Dumke/Reuters)

Speaking to Reuters, Arizona Sen. McCain said the alternative plan would include what he described as “more effective tax cuts, such as a payroll tax cut” and spending on projects aimed at immediately creating jobs.

“A group of us Republican senators are working on coming up with an alternative package that I would hope would have some elements to it that Americans would support,” said McCain, who lost the November 4 U.S. election to Obama, a Democrat.

“One, we have to have an alternative and two, we still hope that the administration — although time is running out — that the administration will sit down and do some serious negotiating, which they have not done,” he said.

Read the rest:

 McCain on Bipartisanship in Stimulus, “This Was Not The Way To Start”


Obama camp ‘prepared to talk to Hamas’

January 9, 2009

Incoming administration will abandon Bush’s isolation of Islamist group to initiate low-level diplomacy, say transition sources….

By Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian (UK)

incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush’s ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

The Guardian has spoken to three ­people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive. A tested course would be to start ­contacts through Hamas and the US intelligence services, similar to the secret process through which the US engaged with the PLO in the 1970s. Israel did not become aware of the contacts until much later.

A UN resolution was agreed last night at the UN, calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire between Hamas and Israeli forces in Gaza. The resolution was passed, though the US, represented by secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, abstained.

Read the rest: