February 11th, 2009
12:14 PM ET
5 years ago

Size of stimulus drops below $800 billion as talks continue

Collins and Lieberman are among those negotiating the latest version of the stimulus bill.
Collins and Lieberman are among those negotiating the latest version of the stimulus bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The size of the final stimulus bill, still being worked on at this hour, has dipped to about $789 billion, according to several senators involved in negotiations and other Democratic sources.

That figure is lower than either the House or Senate bills - though Democrat Ben Nelson warned CNN Wednesday that number could change as discussions continue.

Nelson, Susan Collins and other centrist senators spoke as they returned to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office to continue ongoing talks with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Budget Director Peter Orszag.

Collins and others continue to say they're narrowing their differences, and remain optomistic they can reach agreement today.

Nelson said they have put back some funding for education, which has been a concern of House Democrats.

One of the sticking points has been the nearly $20 billion in school construction that was chopped from the Senate version of the bill.

Nelson told CNN they are trying to add the money back, but change the focus from construction to modernization.

Republicans like Collins have told us that one of the concerns about the school construction fund is that it would not immediately create jobs, because local school districts tend to take a long time to agree on new schools.

The idea at work appears to be that modernization may be less bureaucratic and move faster.

Nelson also confirmed CNN's Tuesday night report that lawmakers are scaling back a Senate-passed tax credit for homebuyers, and likely eliminating a tax deduction for car buyers.


Filed under: stimulus plan
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. KLS

    Please keep taking out the GOP pork paybacks and just leave the REAL JOB STIMULUS stuff in there!!! No more tax cuts to the rich and powerful. It's time to put middle America first!! The GOP just loves their pork especially when it helps the rich and big businesses or to fight some war overseas. They never want to help middle class Americans who are struggling in this economy. Get a clue people trickle down economics has been tried and it has failed time and time again!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. KLS

    Please keep taking out the GOP pork paybacks and just leave the REAL JOB STIMULUS stuff in there!!! No more tax cuts to the rich and powerful. It's time to put middle America first!! The GOP just loves their pork especially when it helps the rich and big businesses or to fight some war overseas. They never want to help middle class Americans who are struggling in this economy.

    February 11, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. KLS

    Please keep taking out the GOP pork paybacks and just leave the REAL JOB STIMULUS stuff in there!!! No more tax cuts to the rich and powerful. It's time to put middle America first!! The GOP just loves their pork especially when it helps the rich and big businesses or to fight some war overseas.

    February 11, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Axel

    John NC – we are three weeks into the Presidency, give the guy a chance to do his job...

    February 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    If it stays below $800 billion then not rushing passage of this bill has saved Americans $137 billion minimum. The sad part is that some of this money was probably taken from parts of the bill that will help the economy and the parts that are pet projects are more than likely still in this bill. I will be dissatisfied with both sides of the isle if this is the case.

    February 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. AJ

    Cut out every bit of pork and I'll bet it could fall even further!

    February 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Pamela

    "negotiators are scaling back a Senate-passed tax credit for homebuyers and likely eliminating a tax deduction for car buyers"

    Lets leave these out and put back education.
    These 2 items are strictly for the rich and wealthy so they can go out and buy house number 8 and that new Mercedes SUV with an MSRP starting at $32,000

    February 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Randy

    Amanda, you really do not ever need to comment again, that has to be the dumbest statement in history. Were you in Fort Myers two days ago asking question and begging for new cars. There cant be this many dumb libs can there? I guess you probably did not see the 6 year long bull market of the 8 years did you. Probably not because I doubt you have enough money to invest. You do relize as soon as Dems took over the house again two years ago the market and economy tanked? Us on wall street hate liberals and there no winners and loser policy. It is all losers in the end for them. Mcdonalds has a great stock see if you can invest at work.

    February 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Pamela

    to John NC

    the answer is because there are NO senators making 50,000 or less!

    February 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Ryan

    John from NC is a liar. Let's see the link where Obama said that. Stop throwing around false accusations.

    February 11, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Axel

    Making it smaller if that means taking out infrastructure projects is penny smart pound foolish....consumers aren't spending, companies aren't spending – the Government needs to spend to pull us out of this nose dive of reduced spending leading to reduced profits leading to layoffs leading to reduced spending.....

    The spiral has to be broken and to do that you need new jobs, and at the same time these jobs should be targetted to fix everything that was neglected in the past decade. Fix the bridges, make rail use more economical and efficient, make power generation more reliable, cheaper and cleaner, make our schools and colleges better. Its not that complicated.

    February 11, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. chris

    well said independent thinker

    February 11, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. J.P.

    It had better drop to ZERO if any of these economically-illiterate clowns want to keep their jobs.

    February 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. CK4NYSenate2010

    "Amanda February 11th, 2009 12:19 pm ET

    I hope the stupid tax cuts which have never done anything to stimulate the economy (see latest 8 years) are GONE from this bill."

    I'm all for job creation and infrastructure, but tax cuts do have a role in stimulating the economy- As someone who has had to pay tens of thousands in taxes in the past couple of years, when your paycheck shrinks from FICA and all the other cute names they find to withhold your money, you tend to hold on to every penny you get, especially now that things have gotten so bad- and especially knowing that all the monies may not be available to you when you really need it after retirement.

    February 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama's grandiosity gets a wake up call.

    February 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Fan of Common Sense

    $1 that does not go for either infrasture or business tax cuts is too much. This is not a stimulus bill. This is a POWER GRAB!! WAKE UP AMERICA. YOUR COUNTRY IS BEING MORTGAGED TO CHINA!!

    February 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. PEACE ON EARTH

    Ya know what? These politicians can take their 'stimulus/stroke-off' and shove it where the sun don't shine.

    By the time ANYTHING gets done, IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICAN WORKERS and THEIR FAMILIES.

    THE FOOLS ON THE HILL can AFFORD to WAIT.......THEY STILL GET A PAYCHECK!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. obama all the way

    remove all the recommendations that were made by the republicans.

    February 11, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. J.P.

    Folks, the reason nobody is spending has everything to do with the uncertainty the government is causing in the markets.

    No one is spending if they think they can pick up a bargain later. If everyone thinks the government may or may not bail out or nationalize an entire industry, how much investment do you anticipate in that sector? ZERO. That is, until the government proverbially shites or gets off the pot. AND it is the government itself, through its threats of nationalization, regulation and bailouts that is causing the uncertainty and turbulence in the market.

    This is why we need economically-literate business managers and project managers running Washingon, instead of slick talkiing politicians and lawyers. These people have never managed anything in their lives, yet we expect them to solve a financial crisis that they themselves caused in the first place. DUMP ALL INCUMBENTS.

    February 11, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Dan

    So, the Republicans will manage to remove a few million dollars of ill-advised spending, but will remove billions of essential aid to the states and vital infrastructure work. And we will manage to avoid complete disaster, but in two years people will either say that we didn't do enough or that we spent too much. Sigh.

    February 11, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Axel

    If we are going to do tax cuts, then there are going to need to be spending cuts.

    The biggest government expenses are 1) Social security pensions and 2) The military

    Take your pick.

    February 11, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Pamela February 11th, 2009 1:15 pm ET

    "negotiators are scaling back a Senate-passed tax credit for homebuyers and likely eliminating a tax deduction for car buyers"

    Lets leave these out and put back education.
    These 2 items are strictly for the rich and wealthy so they can go out and buy house number 8 and that new Mercedes SUV with an MSRP starting at $32,000
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The tax credit was for first time home buyers only. It is set up to help the middle class only.

    February 11, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. joe

    So cutting cost in education is dump. Education is one of the most important thing this country needs. And the more money you can give back to the american people will also be helpfull in putting food on the table, keeping the heat on, putting gas in the car, and its are money. Let us spend it and create jobs. Idea increase taxes on oil companys. Their still making tons of money.

    February 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. S Callahan

    You're right Larry......the power is in the vote....can people keep their energy up to remember that at the State and local elections?

    February 11, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. gl, Pittsburgh

    Among other things, Mr. Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax cut—a payroll tax holiday for workers–would be scaled back, under the framework being negotiated. One proposal under discussion would set the value of the benefit at $400 for individual workers, down from $500, and $800 for couples, down from $1,000.

    The president's proposal to subsidize private insurance for people who have been laid off, through the federal COBRA plan, and to allow states to expand Medicaid for the unemployed, is all but gone, according to people familiar with negotiations.

    White House efforts to restore other assistance to hard-hit state and local governments

    So what all these cuts for the middle class leave the bill leave to benefit the rich. President Obama won on these promises.

    This bill have became a Rebulicans BILL for the well off.

    February 11, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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