A conference could be a meeting of House and Senate Democratic staff, after which a bill is presented to members and a vote is quickly scheduled. Or it could be a fully fledged back-room negotiating session with lawmakers from both parties. Most likely, though, the stimulus conference will be a closed process and focused on reconciling the three Republican Senators who voted in favor of their bill with the desire of Speaker Pelosi and chairman Dave Obey to restore cuts in state and education aid. The White House will preside, as presidents can do -- and I think the House will conclude, in the end, that some of what's been cut from their first go-round can be funded through later appropriations. The pressure from the White House to get Obama a bill will warp political spacetime more than the density pressure of Democrats in the House.
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