Change of heart? Tony Perkins, the former Louisiana legislator who became head of the Family Research Council, offered criticisms of the Republican party and qualified praise for President Barack Obama during an interview with U.S. News & World Report. Perkins, a Baker Republican who became head of the Christian conservative organization in 2003, says there’s not as strong a tie between family groups and the GOP as there once was. “Social conservatives are not going to be banging the door down to establish a relationship with the GOP,” Perkins says. “The party leadership is going to have to show a good-faith effort.” At the same time, Perkins says Obama and Democrats have been reaching out to social conservatives. “Whether they do it is another question, but it’s a positive development,” he says. Read the story here.
Good for the long run? A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the $900 billion stimulus bill says the plan could meet President Barack Obama’s goals to create jobs and increase the gross domestic product—in the short term. By 2019, the bill could reduce the GDP by 0.1% to 0.3% because of the national debt, according to U.S. News & World Report. That could be worse than if Congress does nothing. The CBO letter was sent to U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, Obama’s pick as commerce secretary, and eight other Senators. The stimulus will have its biggest effect in 2010, when it creates 1.3 million to 3.9 million jobs and reduces unemployment by .7 to 2.1 percentage points. But the effects will tail off after that. Read the full story here.