The House of Representatives successfully passed a stimulus package last night, but it was viewed as a rebuke to the president that not a single Republican crossed the aisle to support it.
Asked, the next day whether the Obama administration, if it could go back in time, would change the way the stimulus was put together -- perhaps including less accomodations to GOP demands -- spokesman Robert Gibbs offered an emphatic no.
"If he had to do it all over again ... the president wouldn't do anything differently," he said. "The fact is the president didn't do anything differently last night after the vote..." when a group of Republican congressman came to the White House to meet with Obama. The vote did, however, come up in the largely social gathering held at 1600 Pennsylvania, Gibbs said.
"Old habits die hard in this town, we get that," he went on. "But the president understands that changing the way Washington works isn't likely to happen in just ten days."
The time that he spent was a worthy investment, Gibbs added, before declining to name specific changes the administration would like to see in the overall package.
On the Hill, Democrats have begun grumbling that the stimulus should be restructured to eliminate the carrots put in to recruit GOP support. If Republicans won't vote for the bill anyways, they reason, why cater portions of the package to their demands? But there was little of that mindset evident in Gibbs' words as he took questions form the lectern.
This is, he said, about "setting a tone in Washington that can get things done for the American people."
"Last night was a big step forward for the American people in getting that package one step closer to the president's desk," he said earlier. "And one step closer to making their lives a little bit better."
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