Smarting from its continued failure to check the expansive growth of the unitary executive, the Senate has decided to assert itself by derailing an agreed upon economic stimulus plan. Senate leaders are now insisting that the stimulus plan contain an extra $25 billion to fund road work, tax cuts, and extend unemployment insurance.
Baucus, 66, said he opposes House provisions restricting tax rebates to those who earned $3,000 last year. He said in an interview he prefers sending smaller checks to more people, as many as 30 million additional Americans, who would not meet that income threshold. “Rebate checks should go to all Americans under that income limit,” Baucus said.
Other senators said they wanted to contribute their own provisions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said the House proposal’s $150 billion price tag wouldn’t be viewed as a “magical figure.” Baucus said the package may grow to as much as $175 billion as lawmakers add money for programs benefiting low-income Americans along with tax breaks aimed at helping unprofitable companies.
“It may be a little bit more, but not a lot,” Baucus said when asked about the plan’s potential price tag. “Something close to 150, 175.”
Reid, 68, said members of the Finance Committee “and other senators will work to improve the House package by adding funds for other initiatives that can boost the economy immediately, such as unemployment benefits, nutrition assistance, state relief and infrastructure investment.”
Fellas, economic stimulus plans are time sensitive. The Treasury can’t issue rebate checks until two months after you invoke cloture and send your Christmas Tree of a bill to the White House.
Nobody knows when the stimulus plan will pass, but the State of the Union is on Monday. Don’t be surprised if the President interrupts his speech to chuck the mace at Harry Reid.
Senate May Scuttle Bush-Backed House Plan on Stimulus [Bloomberg]
PREVIOUSLY: Economic Stimulus Plan Passes
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