Members of Congress gather in the Senate chamber
Members of Congress gather in the Senate chamber - 
Listen To The Story


Doug Krizner: If you watched the state of the Union address last night, you got the president's take on the economy:

President George W. Bush: At kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future.

That's why he urged quick passage of a $150 billion stimulus plan. The House is already on board. Tomorrow, the Senate begins debate. Marketplace's Steve Henn reports.

Steve Henn: Already, senators are circulating competing proposals to expand the stimulus backed by the House and President Bush.

Senator Ron Wyden: The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would either delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable.

Nonetheless, senators like Democrat Ron Wyden are working with Republicans to try and add $5 billion for road resurfacing projects that Wyden says would employee almost 200,000 people.

Wyden: My sense is that that money will get out to working families more quickly, who will spend it on goods and services in the United States.

Others add-ons? Expanding home heating assistance, unemployment benefits, even extending tax rebates to millionaires.

But Democrat Charlie Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said ideas like that would widen the chasm between rich and poor and could scuttle the deal.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.