Per the New York Times, "President Obama will direct federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards… The directive makes good on an Obama campaign pledge and signifies a sharp reversal of Bush administration policy. Granting California and the other states the right to regulate tailpipe emissions would be one of the most emphatic actions Mr. Obama could take to quickly put his stamp on environmental policy."
The AP adds, "Obama is poised to give states a freer hand in curbing emissions from cars, and to get his government moving on fuel-efficiency standards that could remake the auto industry… The attention to energy comes as Obama heads into his first full week as president, with an agenda dominated by economic woes and a push to get a huge stimulus plan through Congress."
The Washington Post says the move, "which the White House has privately trumpeted to supporters as 'the first environment and energy actions taken by the president, helping our country move toward greater energy independence,' could reverse two Bush-era decisions that have helped shape the nation's climate policy and its auto market."
The Washington Post notes that GOP opposition to the stimulus is mounting. "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who lost the presidency to Obama last fall, declared that he opposes the bill in its current form, though he declined to say that he would try to filibuster its passage. 'I am opposed to most of the provisions in the bill. As it stands now, I would not support it,' McCain said on 'Fox News Sunday.' 'I mean, I want us all to sit down and negotiate. The Republicans have not been brought in to the degree that we should be into these negotiations and discussions.'"
Also: "The House Republican leader, John A. Boehner (Ohio), predicted that members of his party will vote against the package because it includes too much spending that does not create jobs, and too few tax cuts. 'Right now, given the concerns that we have over the size of the package, I think a lot of Republicans will vote no, because they see this as a lot of wasteful Washington spending,' he said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.'"
Indeed, the Los Angeles Times observes how congressional Republicans are becoming more comfortable criticizing Obama. "Republicans signaled Sunday that they would not be daunted by President Obama's soaring approval ratings, criticizing his proposed $825-billion economic stimulus plan, his strategy for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his decision to exempt a top-ranking Pentagon appointee from new ethics rules."
That said, "Obama's decision to go to the Capitol to meet with the opposing party just days after his inauguration is unusual. Bush met only twice in eight years with House Democrats, and only at retreats outside Washington. "
The worst kept secret in DC: the fact that the Obama admin will ask for BILLIONS more dollars to bail out the financial industry, above and beyond the remaining $350 billion they have at their disposal.
Biden, appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, "said the plan offered by Democrats would likely change as it wends its way through Congress. But he said that the package was already the product of bipartisan negotiation."