February 6, 2009

COMPLETE ABANDON:

Senate Moderates Negotiate Cuts to Economic Stimulus Bill (Shailagh Murray, William Branigin and Paul Kane, 2/06/09, Washington Post)

In their closed-door meeting, more than two dozen senators hoped to produce an agreement that could attract enough support to guarantee Senate passage with the bipartisan backing that Obama has sought.

The largest cuts in their proposal would be $40 billion in a "stabilization" fund for states to use for education programs, $15 billion in education program funds such as special education and Head Start, and another $13.9 billion slashed from a proposed increase in Pell grants for higher-education tuition.

As the centrist group tried to fashion its proposal in a hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the debate across the street inside the Senate turned heated and partisan. Senators ripped pages out of the bill and waved them at one another, with Republicans accusing Democrats of stuffing the legislation with pork and Democrats accusing Republicans of obstructing an economic recovery.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at one point that Democrats had completely abandoned the goal Obama once set of attracting 80 votes for the legislation, which would require 22 GOP votes, more than half of the Republican conference.


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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 6, 2009 7:23 AM
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