Everyone's Getting Testy

| Fri Nov. 20, 2009 2:56 AM EST

The Washington Post reports that tempers are getting short on Capitol Hill.  And not just among Republicans:

President Obama's allies in the Congressional Black Caucus, exasperated by the administration's handling of the economy, unexpectedly blocked one his top priorities, using a legislative maneuver to postpone the approval of financial reform legislation by a key House committee.

....The House committee had been set to vote to send the final piece of its regulatory reform package to the House floor after months of debate. That is, until the committee's chairman, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), told a shocked committee room that passage of the bill would be delayed until Dec. 1 because the Congressional Black Caucus wanted the administration to do more to help African American communities suffering in the economic decline.

....Congressional aides said the caucus's concerns are similar to those of the Democratic Party's liberal wing. Caucus members are pushing for legislation that would directly lead to new jobs by providing tax benefits, for example, that would provide incentives for home renovations and funding for new infrastructure projects. They also want to extend health-care and unemployment benefits.

Apparently the White House is well aware of all this, but if "congressional aides" are correctly describing the situation, what exactly is the problem here?  If the CBC wants these pieces of legislation, why not introduce them?  Surely their beef is with their own leadership more than it is with the White House.  Last I heard, Congress is still allowed to originate legislation even if the president isn't enthusiastic about it.

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