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Why Does it Take 60 Votes to Pass the Stimulus?

February 7, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Deal?

February 6, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

"Bipartisan negotiators appear to have reached a compromise on cutting as much as $140 billion from the Senate economic stimulus bill, but the plan needs to be vetted with rank-and-file Democrats before an official deal can be announced."

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Latest Cuts

February 6, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

MSNBC's First Read reports that the Nelson/Collins proposal for cutting approximately $100 billion from the stimulus package is complete. The proposal will be introduced as an amendment and voted on later tonight, though there might not be enough support for it to pass (more on how voting is shaping up here).

There has not been an official announcement of what will be in the amendment, but Greg Sargent at The Plum Line has obtained an internal Senate committee memo, circulated this morning, that is probably pretty close:

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Senate Stimulus Voting Trends

February 6, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Nate at 538 looks at voting unity on 13 amendments to the stimulus that the Senate has voted on this week. >So far, Senate Democrats have voted in accordance with what we believe to be the administration's position 97.4 percent of the time - or 98.1 percent of the time if the most common "Democratic" dissenter, Joe Lieberman, is excluded from the tally. > >By contrast, the Republicans have voted against the administration's position an average of 89.2 percent of the time. That's fairly unifi...

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CBO on Senate Stimulus

February 5, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

At the request of Commerce Secretary-designate Judd Gregg, the Congressional Budget Office has run a macroeconomic analysis to the Senate's version of the stimulus. The analysis is chock full of caveats - "the macroeconomic impacts of any economic stimulus program are very uncertain," "economic theories differ," etc. - but since the CBO is the official, non-partisan agency for scoring legislation, any report they issue is worth a gander. One of the key findings is that the short-term stimula...

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Centrist Coalition Recommends Stimulus Cuts

February 5, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

A bipartisan group of centrist senators, including Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE], Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME], and others, is circulating a discussion document that suggests cutting $77.9 billion of spending from the stimulus package. The ad-hoc coalition, led by Sen. Nelson, has come together to "cut out spending that doesn't deal with the immediate economic troubles we face." Their cuts they suggest are focused mainly on education funding.

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Obama's Op-ed

February 5, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With public approval at around 37 percent, President Obama took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post this morning to sell his stimulus proposal to the American people:

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Today's Money-in-Politics Headline

February 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

TARP Recipients Paid Out $114 Million for Politicking Last Year: >Beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout package in the finance and automotive industries have spent a total of $114.2 million on lobbying in the past year and contributions toward the 2008 election, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found. The companies' political activities have, in part, yielded them $295.2 billion from the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), an extraordinary return of...

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Not Helping the Dems Any

February 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The stimulus package is losing steam in the Senate, and making matters worse for Obama and congressional Democrats, the 2nd-most reliable cross-over Republican has announced that he won't be placing a vote on the bill. Elana Schor at TPM reports: >Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), the president's pick for Commerce Secretary, just revealed during an interview with CNBC that he would recuse himself from congressional votes while his nomination is being considered by his former Senate colleagues. UPDAT...

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Rangel to be Cleared?

February 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

On C-Span last Sunday, Rep. Charles Rangel [D, NY-15] predicted that the Select Committee on Ethics would clear him of all the ethics violations that have been piling up on him for months. Bill Allison of the Real Time Investigations blog points out just how crazy that would be

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Waste

February 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Republican leaders in Congress have released a list of 32 wasteful items they have identified in the stimulus. Steve Benen at Washington Monthly does some math and finds that the items in the list come out to about $18.7 billion, or about 2 percent of the overall bill. Related: The New York Post has the scoop on what Hollywood's got coming to them in the bill: >A provision in the current "stimulus" bill would allow Hollywood moguls to write off half the production and filming costs of bi...

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Obama to Set Executive Pay Cap

February 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is about to announce new executive pay limits on TARP recipients. The Administration's plan seems to be stronger in some ways - and weaker in others - than what would have been mandated by Congress had they continued with their TARP reform legislation.

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Senate Stimulus Amendments

February 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate begins voting on amendments to the stimulus package today. CQ Politics seems to have the most info right now on what's coming to a vote. Just wanted to get this link up here for now... I'll update in a bit. UPDATE: Okay, this is very rough, but I've got a quick rundown of the Senate stimulus amendments that were introduced yesterday in printed in the Congressional Record. * Amdt 99 (Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]) - Establishes a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Economic...

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Schumer Pushes Mass Transit in the Senate

February 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Boosting funding for mass transit in the economic stimulus package has been one of the main goals for a lot of progressives that have been following the issue. When House Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar’s released his original transportation funding proposal, he recommended spending at least $17 billion on mass transit in the stimulus. But when the official House version of the bill was released, it only contained $9 billion in mass-transit funds. The Senate's version containe...

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Senate Stimulus Package

February 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate Finance Committee has posted the Senate version of the stimulus in one giant .pdf. It's 736 pages, in the form of a substitute amendment to H.R. 1 - the version of the stimulus that was passed by the House. This will be voted on by the Senate either tomorrow or Wednesday, with a final vote on the bill expected a few legislative days later Dig in, and if you find anything fishy, leave it in the comments. UPDATE: I sent this out on Twitter last week, and now that the stimulus is...

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