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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Negotiators have resolved the differences between the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill, Sen. Harry Reid said Wednesday.
Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, played a key role in negotiations.

"The bills were really quite similar, and I'm pleased to announce that we've been able to bridge those differences," said Reid, the Senate majority leader.

"Like any negotiation, this involved give and take, and if you don't mind my saying so, that's an understatement," he said.

Negotiators worked late into the night to iron out differences between the two versions of the stimulus bill.

President Obama said he wanted the bill on his desk by Presidents Day, which is next Monday.

Reid praised the three "brave" GOP senators who broke ranks to the support the bill: Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Video Watch Reid describe the deal »

Of the 219 Republicans in Congress, they were the only three to back the bill.

"Today we have shown that, working together, we can address the enormous economic crisis facing our country," Collins said.

Collins said the agreement has a price tag of $789 billion, less than both the House and Senate versions.

Reid said this middle ground creates more jobs than original Senate bill, and spends less than the original House bill.

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, summed up the bill as a "jobs bill."

"Today you might call us the 'jobs squad,' " said Nelson, one of the key negotiators. "Because that's what we're attempting to do: to make sure that people will have the opportunity to hang on to their jobs that they have today, and they'll be able to get jobs if they lose their jobs."

Multiple Democratic sources had offered details on topics that had to be worked out:

- 35 percent of the bill would be tax cuts; 65 percent would be spending.

- Tax breaks for workers that had been set at $1,000 per family or $500 per individual would be scaled back to $800 per family and $400 per individual.

- $44 billion in aid to states, including money for education and other services.

- More funding to help people buy health insurance through the federal COBRA program.

- $6 billion to $9 billion for modernizing and repairing schools.

The funding for schools is intended to assuage House Democrats who are upset that the Senate cut $20 billion for school construction.

3 Retort(s):

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

I'm just ready for the economy to start moving again, but that won't be in full effect for another couple of years (or more)...damn!!

CorporateHustler32 said...

I just hope it doesnt end up kickin us in the ass..

Anonymous said...

I do not understand all the details of the plan, but I do hope it works out in the long run for our country. I am blessed with a job that pays well and honestly I have not felt the hit (except for retirement fund that I am starting, but I am young I have time).

I do have a problem with all the add ons in the plan...If this is to stimulate the economy why are sliding all these extras in. I am down for improving schools, improving infrastructure, and health insurance, but do not think it all should be a part of the stimulus plan.