Stimulus Friday: White House Waits; Senate Debates; Vote Tonight?

As an impatient White House watched from the sidelines, Senate Democrats redoubled their efforts to complete passage this weekend of a massive economic recovery bill sought by President Barack Obama.

By David Rogers, Politico

Harry Reid
Meetings intensified among a bipartisan bloc of senators seeking to trim close to $90 billion from a massive economic recovery bill nearing final action.  Photo by AP

Bipartisan talks continued Thursday night on a package of spending cuts to win over moderate Republicans. Failing that, the Appropriations Committee leadership was preparing its own amendment to address concerns among rank-and-file members in both parties.

“I do believe that at this moment that we’re going to be able to achieve it,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) Thursday night. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) described himself as “cautiously optimistic” that the bill can pass late Friday.

Minutes before Collins and Reid could be seen through the open doors of the Senate back lobby as she appealed to the Democratic leader to back away from his plan to keep the Senate in session all night.

“I told him if we had more time we could achieve what everyone is shooting for,” Collins said. “But if the process is rushed, it diminishes our chances.” 

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/news/stor
ies/0209/18461.html

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