February 12th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Where's the bill?

 Nearly a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced a $789 billion-dollar final economic stimulus deal, congressmen still had not seen a printed bill, or even a written summary of the legislation.
Nearly a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced a $789 billion-dollar final economic stimulus deal, congressmen still had not seen a printed bill, or even a written summary of the legislation.

Capitol Hill (CNN) – Nearly a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced a $789 billion-dollar final economic stimulus deal, congressmen still had not seen a printed bill, or even a written summary of the legislation.

Most lawmakers, staffers and reporters Thursday were depending on just a handful of details given out the day before by Reid, Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, and two key negotiators, Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine and Senator Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska.

Collins read off some figures from a handwritten and somewhat crumpled sheet of paper.

On the House floor Thursday morning, Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colorado, took on the unenviable task of explaining the uninked compromise bill. As he ran through broad categories such as tax cuts or energy spending, Republican Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina, pounced.

"You talk about this bill as though you have read the bill," she said. "And I want to ask, has the bill been made available to the Democrats in the chamber?"

"Uh," Perlmutter paused. "I have seen the House version, and I have seen the Senate version, and I have highlights of the compromise." He had not seen a written version.

As staff worked frantically to put the deal in print, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi postponed a news conference planned for 10:45 am ET to 3 pm.

Her office said the move was related to the Lincoln birthday celebration and visit from President Obama set for the Capitol Rotunda at lunchtime.


Filed under: Stimulus bill
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. No Money

    It's so amazing to see that some right wing nut republicans senators or congress man and women that oppose this bill has no background in economics, never study economics and they are listening to red necks nuts like limbaugh and hannity who by the way also doesn't have a clue about macro or micro economics.
    Even the most conservative chamber of commerce in USA (They have the most qualified and respected economists) is backing this stimulus package.
    The nobel price of economics in 2008 Paul Krugman is saying the package is too small. Do you think they give out Nobel price to retarded people?
    Let me put it this way, it's just like refusing to take swimming lessons from michael phelps before the olympics. How sputid is that?
    I just don't get it. Is ideologism means stupidity? I have not seen that in the dictionnary.
    What is also pathetic is that the same right wing nuts are loosing their jobs and homes all arround the country and they still didn't get it yet.
    Do some people really have a brain?
    I am 100% for reinstatement for the educational fund in the package and it should be mostly given to so called "Red States". They need that so bad.

    February 12, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Two Cents

    wow – it's only been a day guys!

    February 12, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. yuri

    Now, c'mon, law makers. Let's not dilly dally anymore. Having stayed the (?) middle course, the conference committee had better give the bill a final touch-up and present it for the Prez's John Hancock.

    February 12, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    (i was gonna say before the freakin screen went bezerk)

    we the people are watching you, washington!

    (i think this internet glitches are also AIPAC neo-con conspiracies

    to keep the poeple in confusion and fear

    while they are stealing what little is left of the nation's wealth.

    or they want us to think they are capable of anything

    so that we will be too afraid to speak out.)

    February 12, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. SOL

    TO: no money

    Look what regan did when we where faced in the same situation. It worked and you know it, so do not lecture us. please

    Sol

    February 12, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Jim

    No Money February 12th, 2009 12:23 pm ET
    It's so amazing to see that some right wing nut republicans senators or congress man and women that oppose this bill has no background in economics . . .
    ----------
    Hey, Nut Job No Money - ya think it's asking too much to see the ACTUAL bill before voting on it?

    February 12, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. matt

    No Money also has No Clue....you cant spend your way out of debt...America is broke. "No Money" might live by these financial policies, but we are approaching dangerous waters when our President handles fiscal policiy the way "No Money" does...

    February 12, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Collins, Snowe and Specter are on board, for whatever reason. THE ENTIRE GOP POPULATION IN THE HOUSE AND THE REMAINDER OF THE GOP IN THE SENATE IS SUPERFLUOUS. They can take a long walk off a short pier for all it's worth. They're continune nay-saying and blind adherence to the failed, trickle-down, tax-cut ideology that caused all this mess only serves to continue the dergadation of our nation's confidence in the economy and in our government. Get on the bus Republicans or get under it...you have no other options.

    February 12, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Walt Baschnagel

    God I cannot believe we have such girly men, non-leaders, in high positions.... He is starting to even look like pelosi with a suit on......

    Can we fire Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and senate leadership HArry Reid and start over ?? These people are never going to lead us out of a recession, let alone a department store....

    Hey Nancy !! How many jobs is that mouse project in your state going to create?? pathetic...............

    February 12, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. JJ12345

    No Money February 12th, 2009 12:23 pm ET

    It's so amazing to see that some right wing nut republicans senators or congress man and women that oppose this bill has no background in economics, never study economics and they are listening to red necks nuts like limbaugh and hannity who by the way also doesn't have a clue about macro or micro economics.
    _____________________________________________________
    I would be willing to bet a vast majority of Congress has no clue of economic theory as well.

    February 12, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Terry in NY

    The Dems have had the ball for the last 2 years and haven't got it right. Just about when our economy started to tank. I know they want to blame the Republicans and Bush for all this. Mainly because our un educated public will buy anythig the Liberal Democratic media put on the air. But when this stimulus joke hits them in the wallet and does nothing short term to fix the problem the laugh will be on them.
    VOTE NO on this stimulus package. Put more in the taxpayers pockets now not if we buy a car or make more babies we can't afford. Don't approve some pipe dream about creating jobs that very few could qualify for ie. Road, bridges, building construction etc. There's very few that helps.

    February 12, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. lotta muni

    Nearly 800 billion dollars is so much money that it's surreal. If that's what we need for this emergency, then that's what we need, but please DON'T weigh it down with your pet projects which will tie up these funds for years if not decades. I for one am not fooled by the Washington shell game.

    February 12, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @No Money. One does so tire of hearing mindless liberal rants. Here's a fact check for you:
    1. The vast majority of those in Congress FOR the bill, have had no training in economics either, as their botched attempt at TARP should abundently show. TARP by the way was opposeed by most Republicans, rightly so as recent history proves.
    2. Is this the same US Chamber of Commerce that oppoeses the Buy American clause, and doesn't want US employers to use E-verify to check if workers taking US jobs are even here legally? That Chamber of Commerce? Some endorsement. .
    3. The nonpartisan GAO says that the bill will likely do more long term harm to the US economy than good, because every penny is borrowed. Between TARP ($700 billion), the stimulus ($800 billion) and the Geitner 'no details' housing bailout (est. $2 trillion), Obama will add $3.5 trillion to the debt. Pretty good for a few weeks on the job. Bush took 4 years to add that much debt.
    4. The education funding was only reduced, not eliminated. tens of billions were still added. Before this bill there was already $65 billion in the regular federal budget for education. The tens of billions added is all gravy on top of that. Only liberals would call billions more a 'cut'. We spend more per capita on education already than almost every other country, yet we are way down on the list for results. More spending does not equal a better education.

    February 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Louis

    TO ALL HARD-WORKING TAXPAYERS: You are being ripped off as always–the leaders proposing to fix the economy are the ones who wrecked it in the first place.

    February 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Mark

    To you who says the republicans have no background in economics, I say look at Congressman Ron Paul.

    I believe in Austrian Economics and I am in full support of Congressman Ron Paul's position on economic matters.

    February 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. fella from Chicago

    And this is the administration's idea of transparency. Underhanded thieves, one and all!

    February 12, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. John G

    Wow they still can't get anything done!

    February 12, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. THE OLD TIMER

    Does this bill still have the 30 million dollars in it for the mouse study that Nancy Pelosi wanted.

    February 12, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Dont blame me

    Oh great.

    Can we say COVER UP?????

    They want to push this thru so that nobody knows what is really in it UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE!!!!!

    And Obama stated after he got elected that EVERY bill would havea 5 day grace period for the American people to reveiw it before he signed it into law. Obama LIED again.

    February 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Karl Rove

    The problem with the Stimulis Bill is it is too small – the Republicans purposely tried to remove the pieces they know will do the most good because their only hope for party survival is for this to fail. Why they hate America so much I don't know.

    Hey Harry Reid, grow a pair and start acting like MAJORITY leader!

    If the Repubs threaten a filibuster – make them carry through and actually do one – and then make sure that everyone sees their obstructionism!!

    February 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Bob

    Where's my free house? I'm a working white man and my money is being stolen from me to pay someone else's mortgage. I want my free house, Obama!

    February 12, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. obama-mama

    I think the bill is in John McCain's pocket. He's running away with it. Security stop that man.....

    February 12, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Laughing at hypocrisy

    No money. If we are to rely on the wisdom of Nobel Laurettes for economics, you will be dipleased to learn at least three such person have criticized the stimulus package as excessive and unneccessary. As for the so called "Red States" needing education funds from the package "so bad," I would encourage you to move to a "Red State" so you can learn the difference between adjectives and adverbs.

    Really, the hate on this board completely clouds judgement and reason. There are good and bad aspects of this bill. Rushing it through based on a manifested panic is poor judgement. Let's wait until the bill is printed, posted and reviewed by both the public and those who will be voting on it. Arbitrary deadlines can not be made more important than doing what is right.

    Also, anyone who thinks that only the Republicans are playing political games here has their head stuck in the sand. The Democrats are using this crisis and this bill to play pay back for 8 years of Bush. Vengence leads only to further turmoil. Both sides care less about you and more about their image. You want change? Vote it in the next three cycles.

    February 12, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Jeff from Jersey

    The government doesn't live for the deadlines of the media.They have to tear down another rainforest to come up with that much paper.They haven't finished sorting out the language in it so that any loop-holes can be closed.
    They didn't meet your deadlines?BOO HOO HOO!GET OVER IT!

    February 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. daniel cabrera

    This administration is hurting this country as never before.After all, as I pointed out previously, Obama is the TROJAN HORSE FACTOR FOR THE DEMISE OF OUR COUNTRY,....SOCIALISM-MARXISM, AND EVENTUALLY COMMUNISM IS FOR TO TAKE THIS LAND ,...UNLESS WE FIRE HIM FROM WHITE HOUSE.

    Think about this,

    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville, Indiana

    February 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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