Wednesday, February 11, 2009

House-Senate negotiations reach deal on economic stimulus plan

Good Lord--that was fast! From the Washington Post:

House and Senate negotiators reached agreement today on a stimulus plan with a cost of about $789 billion after scaling down the versions passed by both houses, congressional leaders announced.

"The differences between the Senate and House versions were resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters this afternoon.

He said the final version "creates more jobs than the original Senate bill and spends less than the original House bill." The bill passed by the Senate yesterday totaled $838 billion. The House version approved last week had a price tag of $819 billion.

House and Senate negotiators, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Reid, huddled this morning to try to iron out the final details on the massive package in advance of a formal House-Senate conference this afternoon in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room off the Senate floor. Democrats hoped the conference would produce quick agreement and set the legislation on a glide path to passage in the House tomorrow and the Senate over the weekend.

The agreement on a trimmed stimulus package came as Obama continued his public exhortations to lawmakers to send him legislation he can sign into law.

"Enacting this plan is both urgent and essential to our recovery," he said at a construction site in Fairfax County. "The time for talk is past."

I guess President Obama will get to sign his economic stimulus bill by the end of the week.


BobbyG said...

They will have to come back from more stimulus/recovery legislation. Probably fairly soon. Maybe there’s a role for the venture capital industry as one part of the mix.

Eric A Hopp said...

Dear BobbyG:

Thank you for your comment. Of course, the different versions of the House and Senate stimulus bill will have to be worked out in a joint committee session. And it will go back to a full vote in each house. But I'm going to say that this particular package is a done deal, and that President Obama will sign the bill by the end of this week--or certainly starting next week. Any future stimulus, or even the bank bailout reform bill, will probably have an even harder time getting through Congress due to an even increasingly angry Republican lawmakers, intent on seeing President Obama fail. But that is another battle.