After one of the breakout sessions at the White House Conference of Fiscal Responsibility, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., tweeted on her twitter page — @clairecmc — a positive review of the session.
“Surprised at how productive breakout session was on procurement. McCain Collins Lieberman Issa Tauscher Price Levin Towns. All great," she wrote.
Then she added in a separate tweet: "It was a session of good policy not politics. Makes me hopeful. If we could just keep that kind of productive atmosphere down the street.”
Attendees included McCaskill, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., John McCain, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine; Reps. Tom Price, R-Ga., Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., and Ed Towns, D-NY; Anna Burger of Change to Win, Joe Flynn of AFSCME, Larry Korb of the Center for American Progress, Martin Regalia of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hilary Shelton of the NAACP, and Deputy Secretary of State for Management Jack Lew. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel attended for the last 10 minutes.
The 90-minute conversation, dominated by McCain, Levin, Lieberman and Issa, dealt with why cost overruns are becoming so common and whether the government should go back to fixed-price contracts as the norm.
At one point, Issa remarked that U.S. military generals and other officers in theater are controlling more money than the entire State Department.
“Thank God," joked Levin.
“Jack’s not smiling,” noted Price, referring to the deputy Secretary of State, who was taking notes.
“You’re writing ‘Who the hell invited that guy?,” Levin said, laughing.
McCaskill, it should be noted, tweeted during the president’s open forum as well.
"Everything from the far left to the far right in this room. Finding the middle is harder than it looks.But the participation’s encouraging," she wrote.
Followed by: "Pres speaking now. Going to open up for comments and Q’s.Continues to recognize contributions of Repubs and wants their input.Discipline."
Then, noting the president’s selection for first comment: "Calls on John McCain first."
Followed by, in reporting an Obama response to GOP Rep. Joe Barton’s complaint that the House Republicans were shut out of negotiating the stimulus package: "Great quote. ‘ The majority has to be inclusive. The minority needs to be constructive. ‘"