February 7th, 2009
02:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Senators debate hard-fought stimulus compromise

GOP Sens. Arlen Specter and Susan Collins leave a meeting Friday night in Sen. Harry Reid's office.
GOP Sens. Arlen Specter and Susan Collins leave a meeting Friday night in Sen. Harry Reid's office.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – U.S. senators spent part of Saturday debating the massive economic recovery package, after a group of lawmakers reached a compromise agreement that trimmed billions in spending from an earlier version.

The senators were to recess at 3 p.m., and return Monday afternoon for more discussion. A vote could come Tuesday on the plan, which President Barack Obama has touted as a tonic for the nation's badly battered economy.

The compromise agreement was reached Friday after days of private meetings between centrist Democrats and Republicans who felt the $900 billion price tag on the Senate's earlier version was too high.

"There is a winner tonight," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut and one of the moderates whose support was crucial in efforts to corral enough votes for the plan. "It's the American people and they deserve
it."

Senate Democratic leaders are so confident the package will hold that Democratic staffers in the House and Senate are not waiting for the final Senate vote to hash out differences between their two bills, according to a Senate Democratic leadership source, who said behind-the-scenes negotiations were under way Saturday.

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Filed under: Stimulus
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. ac

    What james said. This is ridiculous.

    The Dems need to get some cojones, STAT. I will not support a useless supply-side stimulus.

    February 7, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Senior Pastor David Adrean

    While the stimulus package is important the emphasis is wrong.
    Fix Fanny and Freddy Mae insured Mortgages buying out the losses of up to 60% the value of the Mortgages on homes. Invest in bringing back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. including new technology for energy efficiency.

    February 7, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Han

    These two senators should leave Republican party and join democrats. It is a better way because there is no place for them in our party.I wonder if Barack Obama has offered them some goodies.

    February 7, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Larry

    If our country is going to survive this economic tragedy that the world is in

    WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS OF CAPITALISM which is what made us the world leader for the last hundred years,we do not need to CHANGE our economic system to SOCIALISM because some stupid president (Bush)and some stupid congress(Democrats) tried a stupid program that put us in this situation,idiots !!! Please do NOT support more stupid ways to fix what the other stupid idiots are proposing.

    The American people ,their children,and now their grandchildren are going to have to pay for these stupid politicians mistakes,I don't want too!!!

    February 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Blossum

    I feel stimulated already!

    February 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Beth

    Just because they cut funds from Head Start and other certain programs does not mean they will not happen! These are very worthwhile projects, they just do not need to be included in this particular bill. The economy needs to get going RIGHT NOW, so these people cut what would not be spent until 2012-2013. If you would get your heads out of the sand, you would realize that BOTH parties want what is best for the American people. They just have differing opinions. Personally, I like the new version of the bill better. It's not perfect, but it is better than that monstrosity of a bill Pelosi put together.

    February 7, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. NCRedhead

    It is a real shame that the school constuction funding was cut...that is the main thing that we have ready to go (as in less than 30 days) in our area. About all that's left to help our community create jobs fairly quickly is the water/sewer funding, but only if it does not go through state governments first. I am an independent, but I so sick of the Republicans thinking that tax cuts create jobs quickly...we know how well that has been working for us. They have bitten a big chunk of meat in this plan...either because they want it to fail (and then blame the other party) or they just can't admit that the core of their economic ideology does not work well, especially during a serious recession. Either way...they continue on the path of destruction and are taking us with them. Wake up people! Big tax cuts sound good, but does not matter if you don't have a job.

    February 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Griff

    COMPRO-MISE... Compost-Promises.... When you settle an Argument, just to move on.... You live in the Past... But even more that that, it is just more Garbage to Burn...

    February 7, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Independant Thinker

    3 Republicans and the democRATs together DO NOT make a compromise.

    I cannot beleive that ALL of these IDIOTS are voting for this piece of garbage of a bill !!!!!!!

    Have ANY of you people blasting the republicans READ THIS THING?????????

    How about 12 million for a 36 hole DISC GOLF course!! Yes it is in there, along with a LOT of other USELESS items.

    The democRATs are taking this TRAIN WRECK over the deep end and US with it.

    We will be feeling the effects of this STUPID bill for years to come.

    Remember WHO voted FOR and AGAINST this bill in 2010 and again in 2012 and maybe, just maybe we will be able to SAVE our country.

    GOD HELP US ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    February 7, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. CA Indie for Obama

    hopefully, the package will do what it is intended to do. However, if bipartisanship means having to retain the base of what got us here...tax cuts to the wealthy, then bipartisanship is overrated. Pork should never had been included, but a better bill was still possible...one with more infrastructure and in programs that the CBO says create the most GDP for each govt dollar spent.

    February 7, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    Maybe we need to collect the DNA of all the GOP members in Congress, before they go extinct!

    February 7, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. carol

    Prez Obama needs to know with those Repubs that you can't change frogs into Prince's....totally impossible where they are concerned!!!

    February 7, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Jay

    What can retired Americans expect in this package? How will we benefit, or are there no benefits for people without an income?

    February 7, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. billy-bayou

    SIMMY:

    You and others just like you will never "FORCE" this Republican into your and the obama vision of socialism.
    I have to agree with Thomas Jefferson when he opined..."What this country needs is a Revolution every twenty years" we are well over-due.

    February 7, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Romney2012

    Simmy – you're an idiot if you think this bill is helpful to the public; unless you're an "entitlement hound," already siphoning off the welfare system....try ACTUALLY READING something besides Obama's trite brainwashing of the "sky is falling," ....which by the way, the DEMS CAUSED THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS...STARTING WITH DEMANDING MORTGAGES TO LOW INCOME, OR NO INCOME....OBAMA SUPPORTERS......So, idiots like you need tar and feathering for your ill-educated vote!

    February 7, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. terry,va

    We are already a welfare state as 45-50% of all the voters in this country are on one kind of a check or something. I am tired of paying my hard earned money to support a socialist government. There is more pork in this bill than there is to simulate the economy that our ignorant government created by ignoring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the crooks in the financial system. The dems have been cut loose and we will be down the toilet within a year.

    February 7, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. john

    Tax cuts will not help the unemployed. We need a bigger spending bill to stimulate the economy.

    February 7, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Jennie

    What is going on with the Republicans? They voted for money for a war & rebuilding infastructure & schools in another country. When it comes to the people they represent they don't think it needs to be urgent. We finally have a President who is working for us its about time. Wake up Republicans we need help now not for you to think about.... it the damage has been going on for eight years. I know who finally is going to get help us the middle guy!!!!

    February 7, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Yveline

    I think the american people needs to tell them what they really want to see from this package. Let your voice be heard.

    February 7, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Minnesota nice

    Hear hear James.

    Let's flood the phone lines. That is what those that oppose this package to the fullest extent did and they are seeing results. We that believed in it didn't do so – My guess is we are still sunning in the fact that we now have President Obama, but .... unfortunately we are leaving him to fend this one alone -- we are about to be out to late and loose our one chance for sweeping change.

    If you oppose this post, you really have no reason to comment slamming me as some "liberal [insert hate words]." You are entitled to oppose the stimulus package. That does not make you an "idiot" or "un-patriotic" it simply makes for having a difference of opinion and outlook on our resources in this country.

    February 7, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    I do not believe in tax cuts for the rich only but I want to see some of you who comment on here put your money into a business and create some private sector jobs. The people who can get the money are the ones creating jobs. Do you want to be like Cuba and get $20.00 a month pay and work for the government.

    February 7, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Rick

    Thanks Republicans and Democrates for spending my tax money improperly . So whats next, going to bankrupt all of us and let Nancy Pelosis tax our retirement money, once again thank you. I hope all of you that voted for this stimulus lose you reelection bids.

    February 7, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Oh No!

    Simmy February 7th, 2009 3:02 pm ET

    Democrats need to MAN-UP and WOMAN-UP and tell the Republicans **** ** ***! President Obama tried diplomacy; it didn't work. Force them to filibuster. When the American people get through tar and feathering their behinds, they'll fall in line!

    Please, no more begging. They are not children!
    ______________________________________________________
    You must be one of my peeps. You are tooooooo funny!

    February 7, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Independent

    For over 6 years all you Republicans did was say, yes, yes to Bush and you spent, spent, spent....Now, you are saying the Democrats are spending to much money....who in the heck put our Country in this position...I think it was the Republicans....All you know is tax breaks, I sure hope those tax breaks are for the small business man, cause the BIG GUYS have gotten enough of them....why do they have their hands out for more....

    The poor school children of this country....just cut them out....

    How can you Republicans look at yourself in the MIRROR??????????

    February 7, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Steph

    Thank you James! I am furious right now. I have never, NEVER been so upset with the Republicans than I am right now. I work in the early childhood education field, and we need help just like everyone else. Programs that serve children and families are seeing the demand for services rise and their funding cut! Social workers and early childhood educators are losing their jobs, and the children and families who need these services are left out in the cold. Please think about what poverty does to a child's chances of success in the future if there are no interventions, no good preschools, no mental health services?!?!

    February 7, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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