The Blog

A Fun January

4:59 PM, Dec 22, 2009 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Senate leaders Reid and McConnell have agreed that the first order of business when they get back will be to take up, on January 20th, the debt limit increase needed for next year (they'll pass a small-$290 billion!-increase Thursday to tide them over for a month). The agreement allows for several amendments, including a Murkowski amendment blocking the EPA endangerment regulation. As Steve Hayward details in his story this week, this is a regulation ripe for overturning, and will be a tough vote for some Democrats (but the amendment will need 60 votes to pass). Then there's the debt limit itself, which Republicans won't help Democrats pass. Then health care could come back from the House and be next up-another fun vote for the Cash for Cloture Democrats. Also, some people will note that January 22nd, the Friday of that week, is the date by which the administration was supposed to have closed Gitmo-so let's have a debate about the wisdom of moving Gitmo to Illinois, and the KSM civil trial in NY.

Should all be a good warm-up to the president's State of the Union on the January 26th. A suggestion for the Republican response: Not an elected official. Instead, some ordinary citizen-perhaps a family practitioner doc who voted for Obama, is appalled by the health care bill, is also upset by the Gitmo decision and all the taxes, spending and bailouts, and in sum is deeply disappointed in Obama's performance and that of the Democratic Congress.