Wednesday, December 10, 2008

National Journal: McCaskill Says Obama's Agenda May Be Delayed

At an Atlantic Media Company policy breakfast Tuesday morning, Sen. Claire McCaskill said part of President-elect Barack Obama's agenda may have to be delayed because of the worsening economic conditions.

McCaskill's comments are being reported by the National Journal in THIS article.

McCaskill said that, prior to the economy's downward spiral, Democrats had hoped to address energy and then health care. But now, she emphasized, it's "the economy, economy, economy and see if we can do something for energy and health care along the way."

When asked why Obama has brought her into his campaign's inner circle, she noted that she comes from a state where "pragmatism is way more important than what political party you belong to," and that Obama's transition appointments thus far show that he holds a similar view.

When she was probed on specifics about Obama's agenda, McCaskill said, she thinks "delay may be necessary." She said one agenda item that might be delayed is energy legislation. She quickly added that delaying changes, would allow Congress "to find the middle more elegantly."

McCaskill said Obama wouldn't be judged on specific policy measures, like a cap-and-trade standard, but rather by whether unemployment numbers drop by this time next year.

"Finding that very fine path of helping the economy, but not going so far that we get government in the way of business, is the biggest challenge we have." McCaskill said about 2010, adding that even "modest improvement" could help ensure Democrats keep control.

"If you look at the races in 2010... there's not a lot of relief in sight for the Republican Party in the Senate side in terms of races that are coming up," McCaskill is quoted saying in the National Journal piece.

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