With Genie Out of Bottle, Democrats Backpedal on Another Stimulus Package

Democratic leaders have faced few roadblocks this year in pushing through their agenda, but this week they opened a fiscal door that many lawmakers appear loath to step through.

After passing President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Tuesday that Democrats are open to passing another one, if necessary.

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., suggested the next day that he has directed House Appropriations Committee staff members to begin "preparing options" and ideas for the possibility of another stimulus bill.

But on Thursday, after Republicans pounced on the possibility of a third stimulus package within a year and called for an independent audit of the current one to increase transparency, Pelosi stressed that another spending jolt is not in the works.

"I don't think you ever close the door to being prepared for what eventuality may come, but I think that is not a near, near thing," she said. "But don't close the door to some other things. It's just not something that right now is in the cards."

She added it will not come from her "initiation" and is hopeful that "we get the results we need from this package."

But Republicans have already seized on news that Democratic leaders are at least thinking about another stimulus package.

"Just three weeks after President Obama signed his 'stimulus' bill into law, congressional Democrats are already conceding that it will fail to achieve its objective," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in a statement.

"As the speaker knows, the only reason to craft a second stimulus bill would be if the first one failed," he continued. "Every Republican in the House voted against the first stimulus bill because we believed that Congress could do better, and we had a plan to achieve that goal. America does not need another massive spending bill, what we need is to create jobs."

Republicans also say they are skeptical that the current stimulus bucks are being spent wisely. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Thursday for an independent audit of the stimulus bill by the Government Accountability Office.  

"I am deeply concerned by reports that oversight will stop at the state level once a governor designates the federal money to be spent at the local or municipal level," McConnell wrote in a letter to the agency. "The American taxpayer will benefit from full transparency at each step of the process as these funds are disbursed."

FOX News' Mosheh Oinounou and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.