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01-15-09, 08:57 PM #1
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touts an $825 billion stimulus package that allocates less money for tax cuts than Obama's plan
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday touted a $825 billion stimulus package that allocates less money for tax cuts than President-elect Obama is asking for.
The package includes $275 billion in tax cuts, $25 billion less than what Obama originally proposed. The tax cuts also take up less than the 40 percent Obama initially suggested to win GOP support.
The package would funnel tens of billions of dollars to state governments, including $87 billion for a temporary increase in the federal match for Medicai. It also includes $90 billion for roads, bridges and other infrastructure works and $43 billion for increased unemployment benefits.
“It’s about modernizing our roads, bridges, et cetera, education for the 21st century, tax cuts that make work pay and create jobs and lower -- as initiatives to lower healthcare costs and help workers who are hurt in this economy, and protect our vital services,” Pelosi told reporters.
Pelosi also said that she is willing to have the stimulus measure go through the committee process.
“Next week the bills will be marked up in committee, Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce,” she told reporters. “The following week we will vote on the floor, send it to the Senate. They will act upon it, go to conference, and then come to agreement; go back to both floors and send it to the president of the United States, all by the President’s Day recess.”
Passage of the measures is unlikely to be as simple as Pelosi made it sound Thursday. Democrats and Republicans alike have voiced concerns over the measure and there are disagreements over the price tag of a stimulus.
“Oh my God,” house Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said of the Democratic stimulus proposal unveiled today.
Boehner read portions of the Democratic draft and said he was “shocked” by what he saw.
“I just can't tell you how shocked I am at what we're seeing, that they’re moving on this path of the flawed notion that we can borrow and spend our way back to prosperity,” Boehner told reporters shortly after he reviewed drafts of the proposal.
Pelosi noted that House Democrats had not just accepted Obama’s own proposal.
“I just want you to know that we have now frozen the design, from the standpoint of our proposal. We acted upon the suggestions of the president-elect,” she stated. “We had some ideas of our own, and how we could, maybe, improve upon or facilitate, even -- or expedite, let me say, some of the proposals of the president-elect.”
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