WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Democratic leaders were forced to put off until Friday a vote on the Presidents economic stimulus bill, after many rank and file Democrats unhappy with some of the spending cuts, demanded time to read the measure. As of 1:00 pm Thursday the text of legislation spelling out the details of the House-Senate compromise had not been completed. Despite the delay, multiple sources, said the bill was not in jeopardy.
The decision to put off the House vote was made following a Thursday morning closed door House Democratic meeting, the second meeting in less than 24 hours to discuss the $789 billion bill.
Many lawmakers left Thursday’s meeting expressing resignation that there is not much they can do to change the spending measure, which they feel does not go far enough to solve the current economic troubles.
Members of two liberal factions, the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus, told their Democratic leaders that they are not pleased with the compromise spending bill and that they need sufficient time to read the voluminous legislation before voting on it.
"My fear is that it will be enough to slow but not stop our descent into a real depression," said Rep Jerry Nadler (D-New York), a member of the Progressive Caucus. Nadler would not say whether he’d support the measure. "Considering the Senate is ruled by the filibuster - we did about the best we could. It will save 3.5 million jobs.”
Another member of the Progressive Caucus, who requested anonymity, said the meeting was a "venting session," adding with a wry smile, "In my career, I've never seen so much money and so many angry people."
Other Democrats also have concerns.
Freshman congressman Dan Maffei of New York told CNN that he learned a lesson from watching Congress approve a bailout for Wall Street that was not as advertised.
"One of the reasons I was elected, and I am new member, is to make sure we do look at the legislation, we know what’s in it," Maffei said.
"I want to know, are the resources actually going to be used for what we say we want them to use. Are they actually going create jobs? I think they will. But I want to make sure and I want make sure these jobs are coming to my district."
Rep Charlie Rangel (D-New York), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, had the job of defending the bill to his fellow lawmakers.
Calling the meeting "very good," Rangel applauded his role as the House's chief tax writer by saying, "The [spending] portion is still in motion but the tax provisions were very well received