"There's no text book on how to run the Senate presidency," he said. He doesn't expect to make many changes but wants to talk to people after Tuesday's vote about issues including whether New Hampshire should expand Medicaid to an estimated 49,000 poor adults and where to find revenue for highway improvements. Morse was a co-sponsor of a casino gambling bill this year that earmarked some funding for highway improvements. The bill passed the Senate but died in the House. The House instead passed a bill phasing in an increase in the gas and diesel tax for road fixes. "I'm still totally opposed to the gas tax. I think it will stall the economy," Morse said. That could affect Sen. Jim Rausch 's plan to file legislation raising the gas tax to pay for highway improvements. As Senate president, Morse will have the power to decide whether the Senate will consider a gas tax increase since the chamber voted not to consider bills similar to the tax hike passed by the House. Morse also has not changed his position on whether New Hampshire should expand Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul law.
Cabinet colleagues, wayward allies of the ruling coalition and an obstructive opposition have together stood in the way of bold steps that might have averted this year's collapse of confidence in the India story. It is a crisis within a crisis. With elections looming, that won't change anytime soon, which means Chidambaram will find it difficult to take robust policy action if the situation goes from very bad to worse. "If parliament is not able to point to the direction in which the country's economy will go, parliament is not able to agree on, say 10 steps which the government should take today ... what kind of a message will it send to the rest of the world?" he asked lawmakers in frustration last week as the rupee tumbled ever-lower into uncharted territory. "The fact is, the polity of this country is divided on economic policies and that is understandable ... My plea to everyone, despite our differences: can we agree upon some measures which have to be taken in order to lift the country's economy from what it is today?" he said. Chidambaram was not available for an interview for this story.
RELATED NEW DELHI: There seems to be no let up in the show of BJP's sympathy for President Pranab Mukherjee in view of the suggestion from certain quarters that some of the decisions he took as finance minister between 2009 and 20011 contributed to the worsening of the fiscal deficit. BJP leaders on Friday expressed solidarity with the President in view of what they called "unfair insinuation" that his decisions worsened the fiscal deficit, when they called upon him in connection with their demand for early polls. Sources http://www.firstfinancialuk.com in the BJP said the expression of support led Mukherjee to say that the fiscal expansion being ascribed to him, in fact, predated his tenure in the finance ministry, adding that former finance minister Yashwant Sinha would bear him out. The BJP delegation, comprising party veteran L K Advani, leaders of opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and former party chief M Venkaiah Naidu, Sinha and others, broached the topic soon after the principal opposition had taken up cudgels for the President in Rajya Sabha. Coming out in support of the President, Jaitley had objected to the blame for the jump in fiscal deficit being heaped upon those "who are not here to defend themselves", stressing that the gap between government's spending and income started widening in 2007 when the government launched schemes as part of Congress's preparations for 2009 polls. On Friday, former finance minister Sinha strongly supported the President's purported contention that the expansion of fiscal deficit was a reality before he took charge of the finance ministry. Recalling that Mukherjee moved into the finance ministry on January 24, 2009, Sinha stressed that the two supplementary demands - in October and January 2008 had resulted in a net cash outgo of Rs 147,000 crore. ALSO ON TOI