The Bottleneck on the Hill

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Here’s a story from me about the bottleneck of bills accumulating in the Senate as more and more vulnerable Dems balk at additional spending. If getting through $50 billion in emergency aid to stave of furloughs of teachers, firefighters and police will be tough, it’s hard to imagine the Senate pushing through big ticket items like immigration and climate change. I’m told that a bill taking BP out to the woodshed with a few renewable incentives — absolutely no cap and trade — might be the only thing passable in this climate.

Particularly interesting in this story was the open hostility with which congressional leaders greeted President Obama’s request for aid. So badly botched was the letter that Politico’s David Rogers is now reporting that it’s going to delay the war supplemental in the House.

On the other side of the Hill, Senator Dianne Feinstein has bluntly told the administration that she will not confirm Obama’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, until intelligence authorization work is finished, leading Marc Ambinder to speculate that the President may have to recess appoint Clapper.

In the conference on financial regulatory reform it looks like Dems are ignoring the Administration’s preferences and are keeping in at least some form of Blanche Lincoln’s derivatives language.

Does some one need to wake up the President’s legislative team?