In it, but not of it. TPM DC

What, Me Filibuster? McConnell Plays it Cool, Suggesting Strong Position on Stimulus

Our goal is to produce a bill that makes a difference; not to kill the measure. So the goal is entirely different from what your question seems to suggest. The goal is to make it better. And we go into this with an open mind. We have two, I think, really good ideas that are entirely in line with what the president I think wants to do.

If you believe that Republicans don't want to kill the stimulus -- in the form that the president and Democrats have envisioned it -- there's a bridge I'd like to sell you.

But McConnell's less clear message came on housing. The GOP has suggested since last week that the stimulus' lack of attention to the mortgage crisis would be their new talking point (never mind that they fought the Bush administration on adding foreclosure aid to last year's housing bill).

McConnell began his appearance by hewing to that line, promoting an emerging GOP proposal that would cut mortgage rates to 4%. But when pressed on why mortgage money should be attached to the stimulus rather than the second round of the banking bailout, as the Obama team would prefer, McConnell demurred. Here was his response:

Well, I had an opportunity to talk to the secretary of the treasury over the weekend, and I ... believe they understand the importance of stabilizing the financial system. And most people don't believe we're quite there yet. So I'm not going to predict what a new [bailout] recommendation would look like.

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