February 11th, 2009
12:14 PM ET
11 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. DC in New York City

    I seen a plan, where instead of the present stimulus, just have the govt pay off everyones mortgage, that will save the banks, plus imagine the spending money available to all sectors, cars, homes, home-improvements, electronics. etc.

    February 11, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. RealityKing

    This spendulous package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if we do nothing at all, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that is...

    "the bill will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing. “

    I almost cried when I looked into my childrens eyes lastnight. America's lost generation...

    February 11, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |

    Everyone keeps saying how tax cuts don't work (see last 8 years). If that's true, explain to me how Reagan pull us out of Carter's recession using mainly tax cuts.

    February 11, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Richard

    Democrats forget that they have been in control of the Senate for the last 4 years. Why should I give them a chance? The economy didn't go south till they took over. It should be Democratic senators being grilled by the American people, not senators grilling CEO’s. We now watch the death of America because of the parasites in the Democrat Party.

    February 11, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Melissa

    What is wrong with these people? They just keep screwing us further and further. I'll happily accept paying the taxes for the next 50 years if it will mean that both my husband and I can get a job. The more they cut, the less money there is for job creation. And they are cutting it in the most bizarre places.

    Stop screwing us all over. And Republicans, learn to shut your mouths. You are the ones that got us into this mess and you shouldn't be trusted to make wise decisions.

    February 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. 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 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. shoegazer

    Did any of you here read the article on this very site comparing the size
    of the numbers that are being tossed around and their comparitive analogies:
    In seconds:
    1 million-11 1/2 days
    1 billion-32 years
    1 trillion-32,000 years
    You could have spent a million dollars a day since Christ was born and today you would have spent 3/4 of a trillion dollars.These kind of numbers are staggering.

    February 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Ryan February 11th, 2009 1:17 pm ET
    "John from NC is a liar. Let's see the link where Obama said that. Stop throwing around false accusations."

    Ask and you shall receive dummy. It took exackly 35 seconds to google this on Obama's own web site: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/seniors
    I quote:
    "Eliminate Income Taxes for Seniors Making Less Than $50,000: Obama and Biden will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year. "

    Ryan, if you're going to defend the guy at least figure out what he stands for, rather than going through life with your head up your butt. By the way, if a senior makes $50,001, under Obama's plan they pay tax on everything, not just the extra dollar. How's that for a gotha?

    February 11, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. melinda vasquez - san diego

    I agree with Joe – Cutting education is dumb! I am so sick and tired of hearing from the die hard republicans that they support education but NEVER want to fund it. We need to think both short term & long term when creating a stimulus package. If we don't education our youth then we are doomed to fall deeper into a recession possible depression. The Bush Administration has been using the middle class to subsidize the middle class by requiring the parents to pay for paper, pencils, ect. The middle class can no longer bear the burden & we need to fund Education! We need schools that have central heating/air, proper plumbing, proper electricity, computers, books, ect. It is shameful to let our children go without these basic needs. I would much rather spend 10 billion dollars a month to rebuild American schools than Iraqi Schools. Wouldn't you?

    February 11, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Dan February 11th, 2009 1:26 pm ET
    So, the Republicans will manage to remove a few million dollars of ill-advised spending,

    @Dan, the Senate version was at $900 billion, that's with a 'b'. They cut over $100 billion of 'ill-advised' spending. There's probably at least that much pork still left. Try to keep up with the rest of us.

    February 11, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Chad, Wisco

    I like that we are just magically come up with numbers that will fix things. Get rid of the politicians and let the true economists speak, at least I can still somewhat trust them.

    February 11, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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