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GOP Looks to Divide Democrats

“We are encouraged that President Obama recognizes this is not the time to be raising taxes and that he’s included significant tax relief in his proposal, but we are concerned as we are moving through the process that House Democrats have yet to ask for our input,” Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) argued.

“I think the president really challenged us not to find a Republican solution or a Democrat solution but an American solution, and that has not happened regrettably in these early days,” Ways and Means ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said.

That rhetoric notwithstanding, at least one prominent Republican downplayed the strategy to alienate Pelosi and Democratic leaders. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), responding to a reporter’s question on Wednesday, said: “I think you are reading a lot more into this then what it is. The president asked for our input, and we are going to supply him with our input — it’s as simple as that.”

But Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami pointed to the committee markups on the stimulus as evidence that the Speaker, like Obama, is committed to the bipartisan vetting of the bill.

“The Republicans are participating in committee markup of the legislation and some of their ideas have already been incorporated in the plan,” he argued. “The Speaker welcomes Republican input and is committed to bipartisanship because the challenges ahead are just too great and the American people demand results.”

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