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February 11th, 2009

Stimulus Moves Forward

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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.

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2 Responses to “Stimulus Moves Forward”

  1. Mitch Says: February 28th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Though larger tax cuts might have been nice, I think anyone expecting it with where our finances are at the moment were being naive. That doesn’t mean I didn’t expect more tax cuts to come later, as it seems is dichotomously apparent in the new budget bill, but I never expected tax cuts to be as blatant in the stimulus bill.

    Of course, I also wish the entire stimulus bill was only geared towards stimulus, because I feel that’s what made this bill so divisive. Then again, that’s just the government being the government, and once again, anyone decrying that isn’t being realistic, or doesn’t understand how government works. We may not like it, but that’s how deals are made in Washington. We can only hope they really do have our interests in mind in the long run.

  2. Tim Manni Says: March 2nd, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Mitch,

    Good to hear from you. The bill was quickly and cleverly renamed (officially) “The Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act” — voiding any use of the term stimulus in order to avoid the added criticisms by those who say it doesn’t immediately “stimulate” the economy.

    “That’s just the government being the government” — haha I like that.

    Tim

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