In a rare move, U.S. President Barack Obama went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to personally pitch his stimulus plan to House Republicans. They were not impressed.

The plan passed with no problem (244-188). However, not one single Republican gave support to the President's proposal, some of them stating for the record that they felt the now $819 billion plan contains too much spending and not enough tax cuts.

It is a vote that speaks volumes to the political challenges that await the new President regarding the economy and other issues.

Monday, the debate moves to the Senate and the tax relief provisions of the bill are likely to grow enough to pick up the Republican votes the President has been courting so aggressively.

White House speakers emphasize this is just step one, and indicate that the President is not discouraged. He says he knows it will take longer than a few days to effect change and the Speaker of the House said that “you can't report the final score of the game when you're only in the third inning.”

How this impacts the pump industry is still unknown. In the February issue of Pumps & Systems we reported speculation from industry experts and executive association leaders on how a huge portion of this package could dramatically impact infrastructure and the water and wastewater sectors of our industry.  Let us know what you think of these recent developments, and we will continue to give you timely reports.