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Democrat Hearing on Stimulus: Conservatives Need Not Apply is reporting today that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is to be holding a hearing as one of her first acts in the 111th Congress on the need for a nearly $1 trillion stimulus plan. Caveats? No Republicans are invited; the economy is “so bad,” according to her perspective, that Congress has to act now:

One of the first acts of the 111th Congress will be an all-Democrat hearing stacked with five sympathetic witnesses who favor some version of a massive economic stimulus package. Republicans aren’t invited and no conservative viewpoints will be presented.

Is this the openness and honesty that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised when she was elected?

To hear Pelosi tell it, there’s no reason to delay — let alone debate — the huge spending bill. She wants to push through the $775 billion package by the time President-elect Barack Obama takes office on Jan. 20. …

Pelosi knows Republicans are demanding transparency and accountability for the massive spending bill. But that means committee hearings and debate — something that will undoubtedly slow down the process. …

Let’s get this straight: Some committees in a previous Congress held hearings months ago about a different stimulus package. Pelosi puts together a fake hearing run by Democrats for Democrats with sympathetic witnesses. She claims Congress needs to provide “immediate relief.” This is supposed to be open and honest government?

Patrick Ruffini and Ed Frank have offered good advice for conservatives to fight the stimulus. Republicans need a viable alternative that stresses tax relief. They also need todemand transparency and accountability.

The last paragraph is exactly what the Republican leadership in Congress must do. And for all those cynics out there, this isn’t about the Republicans actually getting tax cuts or other free-market-based initiatives through Congress — that may be unlikely to happen. The key is, if the Republicans won’t stand up now while in the minority, what’s to say they’re going to stand up later, should they regain the majority?

As Alexander Hamilton once said, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”



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