Yup… they came together on the big bone of contention… how to spend the increased $10 bil on education….
The question? Does that extra money go thru the Governors? (Reid/Senate) Or should it go thru Title I? (Pelosi/House)
Whew! Rough battle there! Thank gawd… I couldn’t stand such a partisan gridlock before passing the bill.
Read it and weep at our “tax dollars at work”. It’s a joke thru and thru.
Negotiators have worked out a disagreement between the Senate and House over education funding in the economic stimulus bill, Democratic leadership sources said Wednesday evening.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to iron out a snag in the bill.
Details on how they settled it were not immediately available. Word that the final snags were being untangled came after back-and-forth reports Wednesday on the massive relief package’s status.~~~
After Reid announced the first compromise, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, said it could be taken up by the two houses as early as Friday, meeting Obama’s timetable of having the bill on his desk by Monday.
“The bills were really quite similar, and I’m pleased to announce that we’ve been able to bridge those differences,” Reid said. “Like any negotiation, this involved give and take, and if you don’t mind my saying so, that’s an understatement.”
He praised the three “brave” GOP senators who broke ranks to support the bill: Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.~~~
“Today we have shown that, working together, we can address the enormous economic crisis facing our country,” Collins said.
She said the compromise bill has a price of $789 billion, less than both the House and Senate versions.
Reid said this middle ground creates more jobs than the original Senate bill, and spends less than the original House bill.
Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, summed it up as a “jobs bill.”
“Today you might call us the ‘jobs squad,’ ” said Nelson, one of the key negotiators on the compromise. “Because that’s what we’re attempting to do: to make sure that people will have the opportunity to hang on to their jobs that they have today, and they’ll be able to get jobs if they lose their jobs.”~~~
Collins on Wednesday provided details of some of the measures she expects to be in the final bill:
The homeowner tax credit has been kept but significantly reduced. The Senate version proposed a $15,000 credit, double that of the House bill.
A tax credit for people who buy a car in 2009 has been reduced.
Funding to patch the Alternative Minimum Tax is included. The tax was intended to target the wealthy but now hits many middle-class families.
$90 billion of increased Medicaid match to states.
$150 billion for infrastructure, including $49.6 for transportation infrastructure. [Mata Musing: uh, how many Caterpillar jobs would that be?]
Nelson confirmed that tax breaks for workers that had been set at $1,000 per family or $500 per individual would be scaled back to $800 per family and $400 per individual.
Multiple Democratic sources said 35 percent of the bill deals with tax cuts, 65 percent with spending.~~~
Noting those numbers, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said the agreement is hardly bipartisan.
“You couldn’t pick up one Republican in the House, and you lost 11 Democrats. You’ve lost more Democrats than you’ve picked up Republicans. That’s not bipartisanship,” he said Wednesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
INRE Lindsey… well no shit Sherlock!
UPDATE: Here’s WaPo’s version…
Vietnam era Navy wife, indy/conservative, and an official California escapee now residing as a red speck in the sea of Oregon blue.