Ask a handful of Democrats on Capitol Hill about a second stimulus and you’ll get a handful of answers.
Some fear backlash of another stimulus while others fear implications of not going for the double dip.
President Barack Obama says there’s “nothing” he “would have done differently” about his economic stimulus plan, but one of his top outside economic advisers says the plan was “a bit too small.”
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri says the idea of a second stimulus is a “non-starter,” but Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island says it “should be on the table.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says there’s “no showing that a second stimulus is needed,” but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says Congress needs to be “open to whether we need additional action.”
“Right now, every headline across the board is the stimulus isn’t enough, states are in bankruptcy, states aren’t paying their bills,” says Wendy Schiller, a Brown University political scientist. “This is really deadly for the Democratic Party, because what it suggests is the Democratic Party cannot run the country.”
At the same time, however, polls show that voters have little appetite for a second stimulus, and Democrats fear that any attempt to pass one will provide Republicans too much ammunition to argue that Democrats are profligate spenders who can’t reverse the job-loss trend.
It looks like the first of many overreaches are coming back to haunt Democrats.