h.r. 5140


That was fast. The Senate today passed H.R. 5140, a $167 billion economic stimulus plan, by a vote of 81-16. The final bill grants rebates to seniors and disabled veterans, but does not extend unemployment insurance or provide heating assistance to the poor. The bill will now take a quick breather in the House before sprinting down Pennsylvania Avenue for the President’s signature. [AP]


Seniors and disabled veterans have joined the unemployed on the list of people who won’t receive help from Congress under the developing economic stimulus plan. The Senate yesterday rejected an expanded stimulus package by a single vote, meaning that they will most likely approve the House’s $146 billion plan that will send a $600 rebate check to most taxpayers. Congress will continue tweaking the package ahead of a self-imposed February 15 deadline. [U.S. Senate]


The House yesterday passed H.R. 5140, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008, by a vote of 385-35. The $146 billion economic stimulus plan funds $600 rebates for most taxpayers making less than $75,000. The Senate is preparing a competing $161 billion package that would extend unemployment insurance and give most Americans, including billionaires, a $500 rebate check. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi begged the Senate to shut up and play nice, saying: “I hope the Senate will take heed. It’s not unprecedented that one chamber has yielded to another.” [THOMAS]