Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thank Goodness!!! A deal has been made on the stimulus package

Damn, that was intense. And states get SOME money and that was slashed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced agreement on stimulus bill. Moving with remarkable speed, key lawmakers and the White House were working on a $789 billion economic stimulus measure designed to create millions of jobs in a nation reeling from recession.

"Time's getting short," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of a handful of Senate moderates whose votes are crucial to the bill's passage.

As if to underscore the urgency, President Barack Obama said machinery giant Caterpillar Inc. plans to rescind some of the 22,000 layoffs the firm recently announced _ once the stimulus is signed into law.

Several Democratic officials said there was an informal deadline of Wednesday afternoon for at least tentative agreement on an overall bill, a time that coincided with a scheduled formal meeting of House and Senate negotiators.

The real decisions were made in Capitol office suites where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other key lawmakers, often joined by White House officials and their own aides, worked late Tuesday night and picked up again in the morning.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the negotiators, said there was agreement to hold the bill to $789 billion, tens of billions below the cost of both the House and Senate bills that had cleared in recent days, and that 35 percent of the total would be in the form of tax cuts.

I am glad the fight is over, but the 3 Republicans forced this deal and slashed much money needed at state and local government. A hard lesson for Obama. Don't show your hand first, give kibbles and bits and then negotiate. In other words, the Democrats had no chip to bargin, in the end. Story here. The Republicans sure had all those "tax breaks" in tact, but everything else was whittled away.


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