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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

789 Billion Stimulus Plan - Democrats and Republicans, Slash Health Subsidies For Unemployed

Deal Struck $789 Billion Plan


Senators Susan Collins, Harry Reid, Arlen Specter,  Olympia J. Snowe and Joseph I. Lieberman left a meeting on Wednesday after an agreement was reached on the economic stimulus bill.
Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

As reported by the NY Times, Senators Susan Collins, Harry Reid, Arlen Specter, Olympia J. Snowe and Joseph I. Lieberman after an agreement was reached.

Congressional negotiators announced Wednesday afternoon that they had reached agreement on a $789 billion economic stimulus bill, clearing the way for final action and President Obama’s signature.

“The differences between the House and Senate versions, we’ve resolved,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, said in a Capitol news conference. The differences were resolved by a lot of intense “give and take,” Mr. Reid said, “and if you don’t mind my saying so, that’s an understatement.”

Negotiations had been going on all day, following extensive talks on Tuesday night, to close the gap between the Senate and House versions. In the end, the agreed-upon package will pare back Democrats’ proposed spending on education and health programs in favor of tax cuts that were needed to win Republican votes in the Senate.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a centrist Republican whose support was crucial to the outcome, said the final package includes $150 billion in spending on infrastructure, including transportation facilities, and considerable tax relief. Moreover, she said, it includes significant money to aid state governments.

Despite intense lobbying by governors, the final deal slashed $35 billion from a proposed state fiscal stabilization fund, eliminated $16 billion in aid for school construction and sharply curtailed health care subsidies for the unemployed.

AAPP: you read it right, Despite intense lobbying by governors, the final deal slashed $35 billion from a proposed state fiscal stabilization fund, eliminated $16 billion in aid for school construction and sharply curtailed health care subsidies for the unemployed. More HERE



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