Archive for the ‘Mel Martinez’ Category

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

February 6, 2009

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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Senate Stimulated: Obama Economic Bill Under Revision

February 3, 2009

Perhaps, after all, bipartisanship lives in the United States Senate.

The issue is the President’s economic or recovery package, also called the stimulus.

Top Democrats plan to add a big increase in highway and mass transit funding.

Patty Murray, D-Wash., wants to add $25 billion in infrastructure projects.  That would bring the U.S. stimulus more in line with the plan now favored by France.

France yesterday rejected a stimulus plan without a lot of real infrastructureimprovements as “too much like the ‘Obama style’ plan.”

Highway projects in the stimulus would also be boosted by almost 50 percent, to $40 billion.

Republicans, for their part, readied a plan to lower mortgage costs to try to jolt the housing market out of its slump.

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) offered a plan with  $713 billion. He says his plan offers more immediate jobs and tax cuts and a smaller increase to the debt.

The $885 billion Senate economic plan faces tough going from both Democrats and Republicans during debate this week.

The proposal includes $430 billion in tax cuts, $114 billion for infrastructure projects, $138 billion for extending unemployment insurance, food stamps and other provisions to help those in need and $31 billion to address the housing crisis.

“The goal is to shape a package that is more targeted, that would be smaller in size and that would be truly focused on saving or creating jobs and turning the economy around,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Non-job making items in the House version of the simulus like $870 million to combat bird flu should be removed….

Republicans said their goal was to change the bill, not to block it. “Nobody that I know of is trying to keep a package from passing,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader.

“We need to fix housing first,” he said. Republicans are expected to seek a vote on their proposals this week as part of the debate on the overall stimulus measure.

Related:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS
/02/02/stimulus/index.html

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky,. discusses the ... 
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky,. discusses the Republican viewpoint on the economic stimulus package as he meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)