Discuss as:

Congress: Obama lays down the law?

Per the Los Angeles Times, "Obama met with top Democratic congressional leaders Monday to discuss the stimulus bill and other upcoming legislation. A Democratic source familiar with the meeting said there was a consensus that when all possible additions or changes to the bill have been decided, the total cost should not exceed $900 billion. That means some spending items would have to be jettisoned. Congressional Democrats indicated that they would be willing to drop some business tax breaks but that the administration wanted to keep them in hopes of attracting Republican support." 

The Washington Post adds, "The meeting was 'productive,' press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement afterward, adding that the president and the Democratic leaders agreed on the urgency of working to 'achieve the bipartisan consensus that the president has sought throughout this process.' But two Democratic sources with knowledge of the meeting said the president took a blunt tone with the lawmakers, urging them to drop whatever needs to be cut from the bill to gain bipartisan support and to pass Congress soon."

More: "One source said Obama appeared to be frustrated by the public perception that the recovery bill was becoming laden with partisan pet projects."

The Hill: "Despite confident talk from Obama and Senate Democratic leaders predicting eventual GOP support for their plan, members of the Senate's ideological center so far have resisted backing the legislation.  Among those undecided are Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). 'I'd have trouble with it and so would a number of other people,' Nelson said Monday in an interview. Democratic leaders are poised to let senators rework it with a series of amendments to be voted on this week."

Chris Dodd is refinancing those two Countrywide "VIP" loans.

And Michigan Rep. John Dingell will become the longest-serving member of Congress "Wednesday, Feb. 11, when he eclipses Rep. Jamie Whitten's (D-Miss.) 19,419 days in office."