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. aware

    Give me a break!

    If you need to do something make it a stimulus package! The pet pork and democrat demagoguery can come later!

    Obama schmoozed a bit but did absolutely no heavy lifting! He has no idea how to lead. He can only do the used car salesman bit – arrogant obfuscation! 😦

    Pelosi's orgy of a package is what is on the table!

    February 7, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Xena

    Those 3 senators ought to be hung for treason. Thanks for giving the country away you fools.

    February 7, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. Joe

    Place blame where it should be. Republican’s have put this country in a REALLY bad situation we should never be in. When you lose your job and can’t afford health insurance for your family remember it’s the republican policies that got us here and they want to take out funding to help people with Cobra payments out of the stimulus plan. Is that pork? Republican’s quite literally would rather take food out of someone’s mouth to give huge tax cuts to very wealthy people. Wake up folks! To be clear, I have a good job with good health insurance, but do I ever want to see this county look like a third-world country where people don’t have enough food? NO. Republican’s have shifted the wealth to the rich and do you think they’re going to give those huge tax cuts up with out a fight? It’s going to be a long four years of hearing all the lies from republicans. Come on people, remember how we got here. It’s happened before and it’ll keep happening if we don’t wake up.

    February 7, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. HA! HA!

    @lady in the know February 7th, 2009 5:03 pm ET
    Lady from the unknown and in the Dark!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Jen

    I watched all this weeks coverage of the senate discussion on this bill, including Saturdays discussions….Here were some of the highlights the average citizen might appreciate knowing:

    several million is going to go to repairing statues in federal cemetaries (do the dead really need a stimulus, I ask you)….
    …millions are going for a program called "job training" (am i losing it, I thought you had to have the creation of a job before you need to train someone for it)….

    and 600 million is going to go for new ports….wait a minute that had to be a misquote…nope, you heard me right….new ports (we got plenty…we have a slow economy…we claim we can't adequately patrol the ports we already have…but some fool thinks ships need a new place to dock, obviously, and somehow they say this will help the economy immediately is why they put this in our emergency stimulus bill." Go figure!

    But you haven't heard the best yet…PAID TO PEEP….it turns out that the National Science Foundation might be the next big porno bust site. Oh, and yeah, they are on the list to get gov funds from this stimulus bill too…millions!

    One of their $100,000 a year employees was busted for watching porn on his office computer 20hrs of his work week…he had been doing it for 2yrs…that sure explains the lack of work performance on the job, eh….and since there is supposedly a culture of porno watching going on there, well, jobs aren't getting done and management (the director) thinks an influx of cash might just be the ticket.

    What do you guys think? Cemetary statues, Porno Watching, and new Ports….is this stimulus we can live with? Dang, I wish I could be a senator…I Vote NO….vote them all out of office…lets put real people in the jobs…write your congressmen and tell them you ain't going to vote them back in office if they vote for this junk at our expense.
    We need REAL CHANGE….not more of the same (just because it is the Dems sticking it to us now instead of the Republicans).

    February 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Mercedes

    Be active people. Call those senators and house reps and tell them they aren't sticking us with paying for ports, porno watching at the National Science Foundation (you missed the Saturday Senate talk on that one!), or statues for cemetaries in a stimulus bill!

    February 7, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Mr. T

    Rep in OH MI PA FL and all across the this country...2010 will be the start of something that's never been seen in this country's history. You guys has shown us that the ONLY way to get things done is one party rule, oh yea, you say that the Fathers of this nation didn't intent for it to be that way, well let me remind you, the way you are acting have them rolling in their graves.

    February 7, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Sorry Joe, but the American people are the losers in having to pay back 1.3 trillion dollars due to the interst on such a loan to pay for this liberal spending bill. We need to fix our roads and bridges but without e-verify and insuring that only Americans are hired for these jobs it is a waste of money. The companies will keep hiring illegal immigrants or bring in foriegn workers to pay them less and cut more Americans from their jobs. If there is a McDonalds job and you are on unemployement then you should have to take the job or lose the benefits. I and others I know have done that in our life time.

    February 7, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. aware

    When this package falls flat on its ignorant face, and the economy is much worse than it is now – watch the democrats try for another trillion or so of your money people! 😦

    If this wasn't so tragic it would be hilarious!

    An over-reaching Obama and his over-reaching left-wing cronies will seriously weaken the USA. Of course the far left-wing will applaud this! 😦

    February 7, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Democrats have not read history

    Senator Barbara Boxer today told the GOP Senators "to get over it" She went and MISTAKENLY said that tax cuts have not worked in the past. Well, Senator Boxer, and all other Democrats, tax cuts are the ONLY solutions that has ever worked coming out of a recession. It worked for George Bush in the 90's Again for Clinton; Again for JFK and it worked for Japan after they unsuccessfully tried spending for 10 years

    The problem with senators like Boxer is that they speak without knowledge and that is a very dangerour thing for a US Senator to do. When Boxer speak, we sould at least expect honesty – not distored and fabricated smears -- Boxer should resign

    February 7, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. DemocratFan

    does this stimulus package include, all senators and appointees to pay there taxes, and all CEOS be in possession of common sense?

    February 7, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. Well there it is

    Can anyone explain how changing light fixtures and bulbs creates jobs or stimulates the economy? Perhaps short term, but what about after it's done, nothing, nada, zip. The light manufacturers make fewer, more efficient lights with fewer people and fewer people need to repair and replace them. Less energy use means less growth in the energy sector. It's like a cortisone shot, it only lasts a while then you need another one. We need an immunization approach.

    February 7, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. DrMan

    It's interesting that the libs think this scaling back of the left's ridiculously overpriced socialist program will be a detriment to the right. If the left thought that was the case, do you honestly believe they would have worked with the right to change it? There is NO bipartisanship in Congress. The only reason the libs did this was so that the right can't (correctly) hold this fiasco over their heads in 2010.

    February 7, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  14. Larry

    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 .

    February 7, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  15. Idealist

    I heard that our economic stimulus bill is now nearly 1/2 tax cuts! I, for one, am disgusted with the "bipartisan" pandering – the democrats won the election, we made it very clear that we did not agree with, nor want, a continuation of the last 8 years of failed economic policies!!! I don't see how this bill is going to help the millions of Americans who have been victimized by the failures/criminal acts of the previous administration. We need jobs. We need universal healthcare. We need HELP!!! We do not need more tax breaks for the rich. Please, President Obama, Congress, Senate – DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT!!! Remember, we elected you, we have no choice but to trust you to act on our behalf. DON'T LET US DOWN.

    February 7, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. amused but happy in Vegas

    @Maggie SC February 7th, 2009 5:07 pm ET

    "It amazes me to think .......... 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"


    If you spent less on the pharmaceuticals, maybe you can afford the appliances.

    February 7, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. stimulating the economy

    I am disgusted with the GOP.

    It's like they are looking for reasons to oppose anything that they don't think of first.

    Some are even saying that the stimulus package won't work, but if it does, what are you going to say then? You don't even care enough about the American people to even try to make it work.

    You know, people are suffering in this country and all you can do is hope that President Obama fails.

    February 7, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. theresa scott

    Suggestion for Mr. McCain (and other rebuplicans) voting no for the stimulus. Rally and do your campaigning by soliciting governors and the folks in your own states. Boycotting the package, (at least for 45 days) in your own back yard, would make for an interesting reailty show...go ahead .....make my day.

    February 7, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. UPenn Student

    People PLEASE!!! Aren't any of you losing your Jobs? I am not but my friends and family member... they are! People who WANT to work that can't but yet and still live across the street from old steel mills which have fallen silent in the last 3 to 6 months. This bill is not perfect, not by any means but IT IS FOR US! People keep askin where is my bail out?? HERE IT IS! THIS IS THE PEOPLE'S BAIL OUT ! But when you see the Good Old Party removing things like 16 billion dollars for SCHOOL CONTRUCTION, shouldn't we stop and think a second. This WILL create construction, teaching, and IT Jobs! THIS WILL insure that our children, who WILL BE PAYING ALL THIS BACK get a better education! There is wasteful spending in the bill, I agree. BUT when you see people insist on the removal of school construction for children.... which furthers education and creates jobs we has to STOP as a people and ask ourselves...JUST HOW GOOD, this good old party really is?

    And this is not against normal everyday republicans who struggle just as much as the rest of us. NO this if for the worthless members of the house and Senate! I do hope for their sake this new President is successful. Because, we had little faith in them before… if they think they can do nothing and no reap what they sow from the people… they are SOURILY MISTAKEN!

    February 7, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    How did so much pork wind up in this bill?

    Money for Hollywood for film is the very height of stupidity as is the designing of icebreakers, and all the rest. So much crap, and so little for the necessities

    Education really does need money as it is for the future of our country. New icebreakers and tax breaks for millionaires is not a good deal.

    The Repubs will need to go along without holding this up or the voters will have their say!! We ARE watching!!!

    February 7, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. I agree!!!

    @ac February 7th, 2009 5:10 pm ET
    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!
    ***OK!!! Fired up and ready to Go!!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. elsie

    Maggie SC. You are a day late. Most of that stuff has been cut back. How is giving money to you going to create jobs? You obviously are watching and listening to Fox. Tax cuts only return 3 cents on the dollar. Food Stamps which they took out give a return of $1.73. They also removed the unemployment increase. Both of those would have stimulated the economy. Over 3 million people have lost their jobs. Small businesses are closing. The actual unemployment rate is over 13%. Look around for more information.

    February 7, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. Jan in MI

    James.......I say AMEN

    February 7, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. The Truth

    I can't wait until the 2010 elections myself because the democrats are the ones who are going to be thrown out due to proposing ans supporting this ridiculous boondoggle pork-bill that is going to fail miserably.

    February 7, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Eric

    Let me ask big spending liberals this question? How many struggling American Families do they know who spend their way back to a prosperous Family Budget? How many American Families with a tight budget continually go to the mall and various other places and spend, spend their money when they know their budget is really tight? How can the American Government then think that they can spend their way to prosperity with such a tight budget?

    February 7, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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