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$789.5 Billion

February 11, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

That’s the reported cost of the stimulus compromise worked out by the conference committee. None of the moderates crew – Nelson, Collins et al. – are official members of the conference committee, but apparently they are still wielding significant influence as the bill is still being reduced, below either of the versions passed by the House or Senate.


>Even after the Senate scaled down its version to $838 billion, approved 61-37 yesterday, the centrists continued to demand more reductions. The likely targets were reducing Obama’s “Make Work Pay” tax cut of $500 a year for most individuals and $1,000 a year for most families, paring it down to $400 and $800, respectively.
>Other reductions were likely in a $15,000 tax credit for all home purchases in the next year as well as a tax credit for the purchase of new cars, both of which were added to the Senate bill after little debate.
>House Democrats have objected to wholesale deletions from their original bill during the Senate debate, but they appeared likely to see some return of aid to states that totaled $79 billion in their plan. The Senate reduced that figure to $39 billion. Senators also zeroed out a fund that would finance school construction, another priority for which House Democrats are pushing to restore funds.

This AP article has some more specifics: state aid is being pushed up by $6 billion from the Senate version, $6 billion is being put back into school construction/modernization funding, homebuyer tax breaks are being taken out, and Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax credit is being reduced a bit.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reports that at least $12 billion is being restored for school construction/modernization in the conference deal.

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