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Thread: Senate reaches deal on stimulus?

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Question Senate reaches deal on stimulus?

    Friday, Feb. 6, 2009 14:10 EST
    Senate reaches deal on stimulus?

    It seems Senate Democrats may have secured the votes they need to pass the stimulus. The National Review's Byron York reports that "an influential Republican senator" told him three GOP senators have cut a deal to vote in favor of the bill.

    Proponents of the package need those three senators, at a minimum, in order to get to the 60-vote threshold necessary to end debate and bring the bill to the floor for an up-or-down vote. There are currently 58 Democrats in the Senate, but Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy hasn't been voting recently due to his illness.

    As for the identity of the Republicans who might be ready to cross the aisle, speculation is falling on some familiar names -- Maine's Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter.

    In a post at the Corner, York's colleague Mark Hemingway illustrates the delicate political considerations at play here, especially in reference to Specter. Hemingway reports that conservatives are already thinking about punishing Specter if he does vote for the bill, and encouraging Pat Toomey to run against him in the Republican primary in 2010. The two men also faced off in 2004, and Specter barely survived -- he won with a margin of about 17,000 votes, or less than 2 percentage points. Even if he beats Toomey again, a difficult primary challenge would badly weaken the incumbent and make him an easier target for Democrats, who are already eyeing the seat.

    ― Alex Koppelman

    Senate reaches deal on stimulus? - War Room - Salon.com

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    Would someone please explain something to me? Why can't they break up this huge complicated bill into several smaller ones so that it will be harder to hide special interest earmarks? Like, have one bill for infrastructure improvements only, one bill for tax cuts, one bill for investments in alternative energy, etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    Would someone please explain something to me? Why can't they break up this huge complicated bill into several smaller ones so that it will be harder to hide special interest earmarks? Like, have one bill for infrastructure improvements only, one bill for tax cuts, one bill for investments in alternative energy, etc?
    It would take longer for it to get through Congress due to procedures such as each having to have a separate committee vote before it goes to the floor; also any amendments attached to each bill would have to go through separate votes. Essentially, you'd be lengthening the process for each by separating each bill. Any separate bill could get bogged down or killed altogether.

    Also, there are no "earmarks" in this bill.
    The Stimulus Plot Thickens: Tax Break Changes Now on the Table

    By Elana Schor - February 6, 2009, 2:26PM

    The complicated state of the Senate stimulus debate just got more intense.

    Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME), one of the four Republicans considered genuinely open to cooperation with Democrats on a workable economic recovery bill, just released a statement saying she was approached by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to come up with a list of trims from the $275 billion-plus tax section of the stimulus.

    To be clear, this is separate from the $80 bilion-plus package of spending cuts that are being hashed out by a group of 15 or so centrist senators from both parties.

    Pruning the tax section of the stimulus is an idea that could hold promise for liberals, many of whom are concerned about the hits that education and transit would take in the centrist senators' package of cuts. The portion Snowe is looking at contains plenty of cuts, for both businesses and individuals -- some of them added in the hopes of winning GOP support -- but also a number of tax credits that could take money out of government coffers in the short term while increasing economic growth in the long term.

    All told, trimming the tax section while retaining its (partially questionable) economic benefits is a tricky balance, but one Snowe is uniquely qualified for as a popular member of the Finance Committee. Speaking of, senator, may I suggest that $15 billion could be saved by eliminating the questionable "carryback" tax credit extension?

    But adding tax changes to the mix adds a new obstacle to Reid's goal of passing the stimulus by day's end.

    Fundamentally, the talks at this point hinge on keeping enough Democrats on board with the proposed spending cuts while firming up the commitment of the 2-4 Republicans needed for passage. In the words of one of those GOPers, Arlen Specter (PA), "If [Reid] had [the votes], he would have used them last night."

    Snowe's full statement is after the jump.
    I was approached this morning and asked to work directly with leadership to amend the tax section of the stimulus bill in order to develop compromise language that could pass the Senate. The total reductions sought by leadership will closely resemble the amount I recommended to the President during our meeting on Wednesday. This is a critical time for our nation. Our economy shed another 598,000 jobs last month - the most since 1974 - propelling the national unemployment rate to 7.6 percent. Until we deliver to the American people an economic stimulus package that spurs significant job creation and helps those most affected during these trying economic times, I will continue to work, as I have for months, with leadership and the Administration.
    TPMDC | Talking Points Memo | The Stimulus Plot Thickens: Tax Break Changes Now on the Table

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    omg, stop dicing the fucking thing up for republican morons! You gave them 30% of the bill in tax cuts, and they STILL refused it before even seeing it.

    If you give them an inch, they will take it and demand 7 miles.

    WHo the fuck won the election? START ACTING LIKE IT, pussies.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    omg, stop dicing the fucking thing up for republican morons! You gave them 30% of the bill in tax cuts, and they STILL refused it before even seeing it.

    If you give them an inch, they will take it and demand 7 miles.

    WHo the fuck won the election? START ACTING LIKE IT, pussies.
    Eliminating portions of the 30% of the bill in tax cuts is kowtowing to the Repubs? HOW? Seems more like the opposite to me.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    crap, read it backwards.

    Still, fucking rethugs!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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