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So What's Happening with the Stimulus Bill? So What's Happening with the Stimulus Bill?

So What's Happening with the Stimulus Bill?

by Andrew Price
February 7, 2009
The stimulus bill (current size: over $900 billion) is stalled in the Senate. Republican leaders want to trim "unnecessary spending," and add more (and different) tax cuts. Harry Reid was hoping to be able to vote on it today, but that's not looking likely.Meanwhile, Obama's turned impatient. Check out this speech from this morning:
Part 2 is here.Next week Obama is going to Florida and Indiana and maybe some other places to try to sell the bill.The things Obama emphasizes when talking about the bill-education, infrastructure, and energy projects-just seem like no-brainer investments that will pay economic dividends in the long run and stimulate the economy in the short run. That said, I'm sure there are some measures in the bill that would be harder to justify on strict economic grounds (McCain has complained about cash for the National Endowment of the Arts, for example).But at the end of the day, I don't have an in-depth knowledge of the bill and I'm not and economist. I don't really trust my own opinion, and I don't really have faith in the economic expertise of the members of Congress either. I'm disposed to just trust people like Paul Krugman, who argues it needs to get passed (like, yesterday) and should be even bigger.At any rate, expect the stimulus debate to dominate the Sunday political talk shows this weekend.UPDATE: It looks like a revised $780 package will have enough votes to pass next week. It's a smaller bill because it leaves out some of the school construction in the previous version and scales back some of the tax cuts. It's implications for transportation are unclear right now.
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