Trouble Ahead For Obama? Congress In Chaos Over Economy

The White House
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President Obama is facing an uprising from some of his allies in Congress over the economy. The Washington Post reports on “a wave of criticism and outright anger directed” at the White House as unemployment numbers continue to rise.

Many of the strongest critics are among Obama’s strongest allies on the Hill, and the growing furor threatens to derail Obama’s plan to reform the financial sector.The Post reports on the drama among Democrats:

The House [Finance] 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.

Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner, already under fire from Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), faced bipartisan attacks at a joint Congressional meeting on the economy.

Geithner was taking a beating as he urged Congress to pass regulatory reform as quickly as possible, arguing that delay would create uncertainty for businesses across the country. Lawmakers sharply criticized him for his role in the crisis during the tense Joint Economic Committee meeting. They were particularly critical of his involvement in the decision, as president of the New York Fed, to bail out AIG.

Republicans are joining the fight, too, with traditional Obama critics like Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) gladly joining with their colleagues across the aisle in attacking Obama on his handling of the economy. Many Republicans think it was the sudden economic collapse in Sept. 2008 that put Obama into the White House in the first place, and are eager to diminish Obama’s reputation as a reformer. They point to the GOP victories in gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia earlier this month as evidence that concern over Obama’s economic policies can be a winner for them in 2010.

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