Senate, House will reconcile stimulus
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Steve Chiotakis: Jobs, of course, the centerpiece of that gargantuan $ 920 B billion
economic stimulus bill before the U.S. Senate. The House already approved its version, and if the Senate passes a package there, we’ll be watching for the so-called reconciliation — merger of the two. And that’s when the legislative fireworks could really spark. Here’s Marketplace’s John Dimsdale.
John Dimsdale: During negotiations, Republicans and moderate Democrats vow to cut anything that doesn’t stimulate the economy right away. Their targets include arts funding, climate research and Amtrak funds.
Sen. Roger Wicker: Six hundred million dollars for new government vehicles, $150 million for honey bee insurance . . . and the list goes on and on.
Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker says both bills have lots of unnecessary pork.
Wicker: These projects may have merit. But what do they have to do with creating jobs immediately?
President Obama, though, believes the sputtering economy needs a big jolt. And congressional scholar Tom Mann at the Brookings Institution expects the new president to use some of his political clout to save the spending.
Tom Mann: I have a feeling you’re going to see more hardball in the negotiations and that the final product that emerges will be very close to what Obama had in mind.
Senate negotiators hope the House side is willing to divert some infrastructure spending to help homebuyers.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
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