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.
, 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, 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,” saidof 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.
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)