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February 6, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Word on the street is that the gang of Senate moderates have finally struck a deal on making cuts from the stimulus. Roll Call (via The Corner):

>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.
>Senate Democrats convened a special caucus meeting to discuss the compromise at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
>Aides said the rough outlines of the deal would pare the package from nearly $920 billion to $780 billion through a combination of cuts to overall government spending and a reduction in the amount of tax cuts in the measure.
>If a deal is reached, Democrats expect at least three Republicans to join them in passing a bill. It was unclear if a vote could be held on either the amendment or the bill as a whole on Friday night, given that some Republicans were expected to request additional debate time.

Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to sell the $140 billion in cuts to the Democratic caucus at this moment. If all Republicans were to vote for the cuts, which will be offered as an amendment to the bill (.pdf), it will still take at least 19 Democrats to join with them for it to pass.

The full Senate’s is expected to come back to session at 7PM – I’ll be watching C-Span 2 to see what is said as they return.

UPDATE: Okay, we’re learning a bit about the agreement as this debate goes on. There’s still no actual text, but a few senators have revealed vague information on what will be in it – see Kagro X’s notes.

The major take-away so far from this debate is that there appears to be very little Republican support for the deal. Collins will vote for it, Snowe probably will, Specter might, but Majority Leader McConnell won’t. That means that the GOP rank-and-file won’t either. Right now we’re seeing Republican after Republican get up and speak against the “bipartisan deal.”

If any Democrat votes against the deal, it probably won’t pass.

UPDATE 2: The vote on the Nelson-Collins amendment will happen on Saturday. I don’t know how much I’ll be online before that, so if someone gets the text of the amendment, please leave a link to it in the comments.

UPDATE 3: From Ben Nelson’s staff, an .xls file outlining the Nelson-Collins modifications to the Senate stimulus bill:"

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  • Anonymous 02/07/2009 10:54am

    They are spending the deficit. Not too much stimulis here except a big fat porky pig. wheeeeeeeee

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  • DannyV09 02/08/2009 5:10am

    Congress does not seem to understand the difference between “stimulus” and ‘spending". I can see spending for new construction but for buying new museum exhibits? Unfortunately this stimulus package has a pork free for all. The best way to stimulate the our economy is to make sure that Americans get to keep and spend the money they earn. For those Americans that don’t have jobs, a stimulus package that allows for new construction and projects of that nature is understandable.

    Unfortunately President Obama has just signed an executive order to “require that every contractor or subcontractor on the project agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more appropriate labor organizations.”

    The idea that the government would require any federal contractor to take part in a labor organization is appalling and is dangerous to our Capitalist society.

  • mouseissue 02/08/2009 9:44am

    This bill needs to be focused on “jump starting the economy” ONLY!!!
    Typical porky spending (disguised as “stimulus spending”) does not belong in it. History has proven over and over again that you cannot spend your way out of a recession. Hoover tried it and managed to keep the Great Depression going years longer. LBJ tried it only to see the economy lag even worse into the 1970’s. Carter tried it and caused the economy to get much worse and see home mortgage rates to soar above 20%!!!

    Obama talks from both sides of this mouth… One side saying we need to pass this ASAP to avoid economic catastrophy… The other saying “When was the last time we had a bill without pork?” thereby making excuses for “business as usual” in DC (Where’s the “Change We Can Believe In”?).

    Making excuses for excessive spending is the best way to keep the the legistlature divided and gridlock alive and well on Capitol Hill.

    Almost all non-biased macro-ecomonists agree that if we “did nothing”, we should see the economy start to turn itself around in the second half of 2009. And that this bill could very well delay that turnaround.

    What happened to the guy that said we need to get beyond partisan politics and change the way we do things in DC… And that he was the agent of change we need to get that done?

    If the people knew this before 11/4/2008, the outcome of the election would have been different.

  • Anonymous 02/08/2009 1:55pm

    Please look into H.R. 25 and S.296 – Fair Tax proposal|/bss/111search.html

    If we could get these bills out of committee and enacted immediately not in January 2011. I believe that these bills would have an immediate impact on stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and making the tax code equitable for all as

    even those on government financial assistance would pay taxes AND ILLEGALS

    Very similar to the European VAT

    I am trying all avenues to get notice to these bills to get them out of committee and the public made aware of the benefits.



    Subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to income taxes and self-employment taxes) is repealed.


    (a) In General- Subtitle C of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to payroll taxes and withholding of income taxes) is repealed.

    (b) Funding of Social Security- For funding of the Social Security Trust Funds from general revenue, see section 201 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401).


  • shooter 02/09/2009 6:08am

    I downloaded the spreadsheet. So, where are the tax cuts? Answer: There aren’t any. This is nothing but a government spending scam.

  • Anonymous 02/10/2009 12:41am

    I believe that these bills would have an immediate impact on stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and making the tax code equitable for all.

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