With all jobs bills dead and the supercommittee almost certain to deadlock, Democrats in both chambers have introduced stand-alone legislation to protect the hardest-hit victims of the recession -- the long-term unemployed.Read Full Article
Federal unemployment insurance, which provides a lifeline for millions of long-term unemployed workers, expires today, and from here on out it's going to be harder than ever for the Democrats in Congress to pass another extension.
The Republicans have officially begun chipping away at the Democrats' majority in the Senate. Republican Mark Kirk was sworn in Monday, taking over for Democrat Roland Burris as the junior Senator from Illinois and knocking the Democrats' Senate majority down to 58. Kirk has made his opposition to the Democrats' plans for extending unemployment benefits clear, saying on Fox recently that he would vote against any extension that is not offset by new revenue.Read Full Article
Interesting thoughts from Evan Ratcliff at Wired on how open government data (i.e. Recovery.gov in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) can have a stimulative effect on the economy. It follows that the more governments adhere to open data principles, the more stimulative transparency will be. (h/t Ellen Miller) ...Read Full Article
Before signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Tuesday, the Obama administration released an assortment of fact sheets on the its estimated impacts in several areas. One of those fact sheets outlines the bill's impact on employment by congressional district. CongressDaily ($) notes that, according to that document, seven of the ten districts projected to gain the most jobs under the bill are represented by Republicans in the House. The Representatives for tho...Read Full Article
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the stimulus bill) was officially signed into law this afternoon by President Obama. It is now Pub.L. 111-005 Shortly after the signing ceremony, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that the Administration will not "foreclose" the idea of pushing a second stimulus package through Congress if this one doesn't do enough, though they have no plans to do so at the moment. ...Read Full Article
The stimulus bill
hasn't (update: has been) been signed into law yet, but one of its mandates - the establishment of a public website to track how the stimulus funds are being spent - has already been implemented.
Hot on the heels of the House of Representatives, the Senate this evening gave final congressional approval to the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by a vote of 60-38 - not a vote to spare. President Obama will sign the bill into law on Monday. Out of the 535 members of Congress, only three Republicans votes in favor of the bill.Read Full Article
The House of Representatives has just passed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act conference report by a vote of 246-183, sending it to the Senate for one final test before it gets signed into law by President Obama.
Like the House's first vote on the bill in late January, not a single Republican voted for it. Seven Democrats crossed the aisle this time to vote with the Republicans against the bill.
It's 11pm ET on Wednesday, and the full legislative text of the final version of Congress's $789.5 billion economic stimulus package has just been released. It's scheduled for a possible vote by the House of Representatives sometime tomorrow. It's 999 pages in total - Better get reading...Read Full Article
But in the meantime, here's a summary of the $311 billion in appropriations (.pdf) that will be included in the final version of the stimulus bill. ...$72. billion for rural broadband, $8.4 for mass transit, $9.3 billion for intercity rail investment, $19 billion for health IT, $53.6 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, etc. UPDATE: And here is the other half, a summary of the tax provisions in the final stimulus bill (.pdf), courtesy of the House Ways and Means. Still no bil...Read Full Article
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.Read Full Article
Following up on my list of exemplary Democrats, here is a list of the seven Republican Senators who voted with the majority of their party (against the assumed administration position) on all 29 roll call votes regarding the stimulus:Read Full Article
Say what you will about the economic stimulus package, but the fact of the matter is that it is the result of as fair and deliberative a process as ever happens in Congress. In the Senate alone, 27 amendments were voted on, at least 20 of them sponsored by members of the minority party. So far, the Senate has gone down on the record 29 times regarding the stimulus. Throughout all the votes, 10 Democrats voted with the majority of their party (or what we can assume to be the administration's position) every single time.Read Full Article
Republicans in the Senate and House are pushing for the stimulus package conference committee meetings to be broadcast on television. “Given the enormous amount of taxpayer money at stake, it is critical that any and all negotiations be held to the highest standards of transparency,” said Rep. Tom Price in a press release. The conference committee, which meets to reconcile legislation when the Senate and House pass different versions, is one of the most mysterious congressional activitie...Read Full Article
With the economic stimulus package (H.R. 1) now cleared by both the House and the Senate, Democratic leaders are facing pressure from everyone who helped them get this far to change the bill before they bring it back for a final vote.Read Full Article