February 7th, 2009
02:28 PM ET
9 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

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.

Full story

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

    Does this mean that the Donlad Trump types will be able to get a tax credit of $15,000 for each of the rock bottom real estate buys that they are in the position to scoop up this year?

    February 7, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Karen - Missouri

    The Republicans are spoiled brats! We all know THEIR way never works and showing it's THEM who don't know how to work with other people. Vote the stinking Republicans out of office!!!! THEY GOT US INTO THIS MESS as far back as Nixon and Reagan!!! Our economy and lack of regulations by the Repubs has cost this country dearly.

    Give those brat Republicans some hankies to cry on and MOVE ON to save this economy! It's very clear the Republicans are never going to care about this country!

    February 7, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Zion

    Here's the problem. There are some Republicans willing to negotiate. I know its frustrating, but remember, President Obama has to come back to these people again for additional money. Another financial package will be introduced on Monday, and he cannot afford to violate the few Republicans who are willing to listen. Yes, we may have to take a hit here and there with some programs, but we need action folks.

    February 7, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. lady in the know

    All you Republican bashers need to shut up and grow up. YOu have no idea what you are talking about and by doing what you are doing, you give us a good idea of the mentality of the people that voted for Obama.

    February 7, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Maggie SC

    It amazes me to think that intelligent people think spending is the answer to cure economic woes. How can it heelp to spend money we have to borrow and have no way to pay it back. We already owe China more than anyone in my lifetime will live to see paind off. How can it help if we have to borrow this money. Interest will be added. We will never pay the interes off on a loan of this size let alone the whole amout stated. Why should we have tgo have our taxes increased and you all know that is what will happen. Do not kid yourselves. Anyone making loan payments on theri hose know if you have a huge house over 500,000 dolars with loan period of 30 years you will be paying many times more the loan amount and never pay it off. You will never own it this day and age unless you make a 6 figure salary and now is not a good time to own anything. The more unemployment we have becasue the companies are folding, the sma business are giving up and the drain on society already astronomical will continue until we have to have aid from the very countries awe are begging loans from now. Why not focus on how these failing companies can helkp themselves. Also the rediculous items the stinulus is suppose to pay is also rediculous. How can A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film help us? We the people? $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration. There are many more wasteful like 248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters. What is wrong with what they have? Homeland Security has not been in effect long enough to be worn out. I am sure they do not have enough visitors whom have damaged the furniture. Check it out for yourselves. That is our money they are spending. I need a new refrigerator, stove, dish washer and car. It would be better if they gave all of us the money to spedn where we felt it was needed. Wake up

    February 7, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Cheryl

    Hey Don...why do you always refer to the Prseident as Mr. Obama vs. Mr. President or the President?

    February 7, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. ac

    Limbaugh's crowd has kept Congress phones off the hook to push for his version of the stimulus, and it looks like it worked.

    It's high time we do the same to counter the damage!

    February 7, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. READY99

    8 years a REPUBLICAN led nation screwed this country up. Now this so-called party wants to continue to make this country worse. Your tax breaks cuts didn't work and now people are facing jobs cut. You cut the DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT OBAMA STIMULUS PLAN FOR MORE OF YOUR B.S. To cut programs which would help more common people{SCHOOL CONTRUCTION,NEIGHBORHOODS RECONTRUCTION,LAW ENFORCEMENT,SCIENCE PROGRAMS WHICH CAN LEAD TO NEW DISCOVRIES,ETC......Would you all please sit your hippo-critic a–es down and at least allow PRESIDENT OBAMA to straighten your REPUBLICAN led mess up. When BUSH was spending money like there was none tomorrow,you said nothing! In 2010 I hope more people remember your foul-ups and more of the same with a new PRESIDENT and throw your a–es out of office.

    February 7, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. gg

    well said james

    February 7, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. John

    We will all remember the damage republicans have done to our nation. This could be the beginning of the end of the republican party, it may live on in name, but Americans want to burn this party before the warm season comes, and the stench of decomposition hits your olfactory nerve. Say goodnight losers aka republicans.

    February 7, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. READY99

    On mine comment concerning your foul-ups {its should be stated started with BUSH and continuing on with a new PRESIDENT trying to make a real difference to betterment AMERICA!

    February 7, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. jaye

    I sincerely thank everyone who worked on this Bill.
    It's much needed and will help our economy more that anything right now.

    February 7, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. Hammer

    What a joke. Republican and fight hard do not belong in the same conversation. They will lay down for the Dems. any time as long as they get their share of the spoils.

    February 7, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. DG

    It looks like the Republicans only have three Senators in their midst with any sense at all. I think they all decided to oppose Obama every step of the way. They know it was them and Bush that put us in this mess. Well, they won't win. President Obama will come out on top. I can't imagine any citizen voting to keep this bunch in office when it comes time to vote again. The way they are acting with the simulus package should show everyone that the Republicans are not looking out for the American people. They are all wealthy and do not care what happens to the rest of us. Wake up America and kick all of them to the curb!!!

    February 7, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. kelly WI

    Scrap this stinking bill. Either re-write it or forget it.
    Its businesses that create jobs. Not the gov.
    We don't need a bunch of mealy mouthed politions running our life.
    The gov. already lost 78 billion on the first 350 they gave out.
    They haven't even started on the budget for next year yet. How many more trillions are they going to make us pay for.?
    Sure they arent' going to nab as much out of your pay check each week but what will happen at the end of the year when you file your taxes? Are those rates going to be lower?

    February 7, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. angie

    Cutting funding for head start programs, school construction, and health and human services out of the stimulus package is NOT cutting those programs already established funding.
    I hope the Republicans do filibuster this bill. You want to talk about paying a price.... have you even considered the long term ramifications of this costly bill?
    It is absolute ignorance to believe the government can take money from wealthy people and somehow make your life better. You have been sold a bill of goods. Do you pay taxes? How much better would you be able to provide for yourself if you got to keep half of the current taxes being taken out of your check?
    The government should be held to a similar standard that charity organizations are. Why not make them work their budget so 70% of what they take in goes directly toward what is being funded and only allow 30% for all overhead costs.
    I'm sick of people blaming Wall Street and the wealthy for all their problems in life. The US GOVERNMENT is the wealthiest group around and they are rich because of us. Democrats are only interested in making you more dependent on them in order to keep them in power!

    February 7, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. blaising

    Republik party cares more about scoring political points than the economic welfare of this country....i consider that un-American.

    Republik party is using terrorist tactics to undermine the economic security of the United States. They should all be locked up for TREASON!

    February 7, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. S Callahan

    Well, did any one look at the list of what they have cut vs what the reduced?
    I just pray I the list was posted impoperly by CNN....from what I saw all Science eliminated, including NASA? How insane is that? Head Start eliminated? Title 1 eliminated? Neighborhood Stablization elimated?

    Yet...150 towards Smithsonian.....

    I know some of you would say you tried to do a good cut..and some were .but did you forget it's the 'people' who need a boost and not 'places'?

    February 7, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. S Callahan

    Well, did any one look at the list of what they have cut vs what they have reduced?
    I just pray the list was posted impoperly by CNN....from what I saw all Science agendas were eliminated, including NASA? How insane is that? Head Start eliminated? Title 1 eliminated? Neighborhood Stablization elimated?

    Yet...150 left towards Smithsonian.....

    I know some of you would say you tried to do a good cut..and some were .but did you forget it's the 'people' who need a boost and not 'places'?

    February 7, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Sam Elam

    Stimulus = Consumer & Business Spending ONLY –
    Goverment Spending = waste

    Car purchases = 3000.00 tax Credit for new cars > 20mpg

    New home buyers = 10,000.00 tax deduction the 1st year.

    Energy Saving Home Improvements = 33% tax deduction (wind solar, geothermal)

    Energy Saving Appliance purchases = 20% tax deduction (Energy Star Qualified)

    These are things that provide an INSTANT POP to the economy
    Tax Credits dont work because people can save it or pay old bills with it = neither stimulatesu

    February 7, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Sue in MI

    To those who think that spending is not the way out of this...you are wrong. Think what's happened since Christmas. My family, like many others, has shut the purse strings except for necessities. We have more cash, but are watching businesses fold, more jobs gone...and that is all ove rthe country now, not just here. Until we start spending (wisely, but spending) we will not come out of the depression and get the economy moving. Tax cuts don't help–people take that extra $10/week and save it. You have to put dollars into work projects, hire people, increase demand for steel and lumber, get home prices up again. Sitting on our hands and moaning is not the answer. Is there some waste in the bill...most likely, and more now that the Republicans got their tax cuts in! So you'll see a tiny more income (IF you're working) and you'll watch it go to tax increases in your state because the state money was cut too. Someone has to pay for bridges, roads, education, police and fire, ambulances...guess who? So be very careful before you bash this as another government handout-this one is for us.

    February 7, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. fedup

    If one blames Wall Street for the economic problems by siting greed and overspending how can one turn around and support the stimulus package which is congress greedily funding their projects and overspending their budget?

    February 7, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    I heard a good comment this week when the pundits were talking about capping CEO pay @ $500,000.00 per year for companies that get taxpayer money. We should also cap Athletes/Coaches and Hollywood saleries to $500,000.00 per year since they would be getting government money since taxpayers help support them with stadiums and film shooting areas/film/security for their events like the Oscars.

    February 7, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    @ lady in the know, Now all you Repugnants know how the rest of the country has felt for the past 8 years. Talk about crazy? Where were you for the Bush administration's crazy, paranoid, narcissistic behaviors which destroyed the stability of this country? Easy for you to say all that, but you must not have to worry about losing your home or having your children sleep on the streets. Before you criticize the rest of us, try going to a shelter and living there for a week!

    February 7, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Sue in MI

    One more things...all those projects that you name as wasteful would be someone's job! Someone providing a service for a paycheck! You may not need it, but there are plenty of unemployed people who need to be working before the country goes under completely on the backs of Republican lies and rhetoric. Enough!

    February 7, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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