House expected to pass stimulus
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Scott Jagow: The House is ready to vote today on President Obama’s stimulus package. The Democrats have taken out money for improving the national mall and funding for family planning programs. But Republicans still aren’t on board. They want even less spending and more tax cuts. The President would like their support, but he doesn’t need it to pass the House today. The Senate is also working on a version of the stim-pak, and we have more on that from Marketplace’s Steve Henn.
Steve Henn: If this stimulus is a giant ice cream Sunday for the economy, the Senate’s busy sprinkling on the toppings. The biggest goody so far is a $69 billion proposal that will shield millions of upper-middle class Americans from having to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Fixing the AMT wasn’t in the original White House plan, but President Obama seems eager to pick up more Republican support.
President Obama: I don’t expect 100 percent agreement from my Republican colleagues, but I do hope that we can all put politics aside and do the American people’s business right now.
But Lobbyists are playing politics as usual. They’re still pitching tax breaks for installing geothermal heat pumps. There’s a plan on the table to buy-up and slaughter dairy cows to boost milk prices, and shoe makers want lower tariffs on canvass shoes made overseas.
But all these new toppings aren’t cheap. The total price tag that could top $1 trillion, including interest.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
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