Archive for the ‘Patty Murray’ Category

Stimulus: Republicans Block Dems Offering to Spend More Money

February 3, 2009

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked Democrats from adding $25 billion for highways, mass transit, and water projects to President Barack Obama‘s economic recovery program.

Already unhappy over the size of the measure, Republicans insisted additional infrastructure projects be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the bill.

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

But the Democratic amendment garnered 58 votes, just shy of the supermajority needed under Senate budget rules, and many more efforts to increase the measure’s size are sure to follow.

“We can’t add to the size of this bill,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. “The amount is just inconceivable to most people.”

At issue was a plan by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to increase the highway funding in the bill to $40 billion, which reflected complaints from lawmakers in both parties that Obama’s plan doesn’t do enough to relieve a backlog of unfinished projects. The duo also wanted to increase mass transit programs by $5 billion boost and water projects by $7 billion.

“Our highways are jammed. People go to work in gridlock,” Feinstein said Tuesday.

Just two Republicans supported the move, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Christopher Bond of Missouri. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H., named Tuesday morning to become Commerce secretary, did not vote.

Senate debate unfolded as Obama issued another call for swift action on the measure, urging lawmakers to act “with the same sense of urgency Americans feel every day.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009020
3/ap_on_go_co/congress_stimulus

Related:
Stimulus: Some Loony Spending Requests in Obama Plan

Advertisements

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)