Stimulus Moves Forwardby Tim Manni
Negotiators from the House and the Senate approved a less-expensive version of the stimulus bill this afternoon, prepping the House for a vote as soon as Thursday, and the Senate as soon as Friday.
As it stands now, over one-third of the $789 billion bill is dedicated to tax cuts. Although lawmakers were able to shrink the overall price tag, it may have come at a cost to American workers anticipating a larger tax cut:
Multiple Democratic sources earlier said 35% of the bill deals with tax cuts, 65% with spending. They gave some other details of what was being worked out:
- Tax breaks for workers of $800 per family and $400 per individual, down from $1,000 per family or $500 per individual
- $44 billion in aid to states, including money for education and other services
- More money 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 the Senate cut $20 billion for school construction.
Democratic Senators must hold onto at least two of their three Republican supporters in order to achieve the 60 votes needed to pass the bill. House Democrats were able to advance their version of the stimulus without one single GOP vote of approval.