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February 10th, 2009
11:31 AM ET

The Stimulus Bills: House vs. Senate

President Obama pushed for stimulus plan support Monday night during a national news conference.

President Obama pushed for stimulus plan support Monday night during a national news conference.

Michael Grabell
ProPublica.org

If all goes as expected today, the Senate will pass an $838 billion economic stimulus plan that follows a compromise reached over the weekend. But before the package can go to President Obama’s desk, the Senate will have to resolve differences with the House and its $819 billion version. Most predict a bruising battle that won’t wrap up until week’s end, in part because of fiery differences over tax cuts and spending on food stamps and education, a critical issue for Democrats who control the House.

So how do the two versions stack up? We’ve put together this chart so you can easily spot the differences.

Read More...


Filed under: Democrats • Economy • Raw Politics • Republicans
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Terry

    Have we been Blagovich-ed with an "F".

    1) $2.9 billion for weatherization programs -No Home Responsibility Here…. Go Buy a Tube of Caulk at Wal-Mart & weatherstripping..are we serious.

    2) Doubled Education Budget...Did we have 100% Unemployment in Education... construction ok…but increasing the 2009 Education Budget… illegal aliens should be jumping for joy.

    3) Health Data Processing to merge records....yeah right...Read Daschle's Book Page 196....then read the Health Part of the Pork Package...pages 442, 445, 457 and 459...this bad...and after you read it...Blagovich-ed.

    4) These mayor's with their Christmas List.

    5) Have you mentioned that California is going to end with most of the state freebie money…that should make Pelosi & Boxer happy and all the illegal aliens down there….the majority of these freebie state money is going to New York, Illinois, Michigan and Florida…a bunch of sanctuary states... the balanced states are screwed. Also there is an argument not to use E-Verify to be insure American Citizens get the funds.

    I could go on and on but it would bore you. Say No to This Pork..and redo it.

    February 11, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  2. Kumu

    Sorry my comment is so late but we here in Hawaii get off work late!

    My comment is about the Republican who are so irate about Rep. Arlen Specter voting for the stimulus bill that they are going to"spend millions to get him out of office." !!!

    Great! Let those rich fat ats (probably the same guys on Wall St) to spend their own millions and help out the economy! Better than me who has to wonder why I now have to keep my daughters fed and the grocery stores in business, too!

    All you stupid poor guys who think you're republicans, figure it out! They're not interested in your problems! They only want someone fatcat repub to keep their millions in their own pockets. If their rep won't do it, they'll spend millions (chump change) to get 'em out!

    Thank Heavens for Obame who cares about us!

    February 11, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  3. Mamadou D

    The stimulate package will quickly get approved if the paychecks of those involve in the decision are frozen until they reach resolutions.

    February 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  4. Michael Dack

    The Republicans’ obsession with tax cuts completely mystifies me. Let’s say the government gives every family $1000 plus or minus. I don’t know what people are going to do with that money. Some might save it; some might pay off some debts; some might buy something they really need; and some might waste it on foreign made electronic gadgets they don’t need at all. I do know that they’re not going to use it to repair our deteriorating roads, bridges, sewers, levies, or electric power grid. Go figure!

    February 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  5. David Preston

    How to deal with the homeless situation; Move those waiting for unavailable government housing INTO the empty bank owned houses, and pay the mortgage holders what the cost of providing government housing would be. This allows the mortgage companies to recovery something while they continue to try selling the house, and provides lodging for the homeless which might help them get a fresh start on life, not to mention helping the overall economy by helping the mortgage companies.

    Please see that this suggestion gets noticed

    February 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Joyce Marie

    It's been said many times now on CNN that small business is going to pull us out of this recession and if that's true than why isn't any money being given to help us small business owners. Where is our help and who cares about us? Many small businesses have already had to close! If we must close our business we can't get unemployment benefits as we don't qualify for unemployment!
    The government will not help us at all in any way!!!!!!
    If we are so important than why have we been forgotten??????
    Joyce Marie
    Albuquerque, NM

    February 10, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  7. earle,florida

    Hold your ground ,Nancy,and Harry! Tax cuts to small ,and mid size business's only!

    February 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  8. James Clarke

    I don't understand how the few Democratic House members, who put earmark items for themselves in this stimulas plan. Have they forgotten about the rest of the nation? Do they have any shame? Is this showing respect to the new president? They are just plain greedy. Did they forget what brought down Wall Street?
    The American people are so sick of politics as usual and have a elected a new president for change and this is how they react. The president asked for stimulas bill and got earnmarks tacked on. These people should be named next to each earnmark and not re-elected next term.
    I want the stimulas bill to pass, I'm not sure it will work, but an attempt needs to be made now. I have faith in this president. I am very disappointed in the Democratics in the house for allowing this bill out in its final house verison. I am also disappointed in the whole GOP for doing nothing in the past and adding more earmarks in the Senate.
    The people of the country desperately need Congress to work together, no matter how much they dislike each other. Why can't they understand that? We need solutions without egos.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  9. Steve

    History has shown since President Reagen that trickledown economics does not work. I know the Republicans want tax cuts for their rich supporters but I for one lost my job in 2008 and no longer care about parties, lobbiests, or politicians. I care about taking care of my family and saving my home. I no longer care about who worte the bill or who voted for or against the bill. I care about getting back to work. If the Reppublicans can wirte a better bill then do it and do it fast, if not do not complain about the bill. I am tired about the whiners who say this bill will not work but do not offer up anything but more failed tax cuts. I am also tired about the Republicans complaining about the cost of the bill. We are spending billions in Iraq to benefit them and this is taking away for taking care of Americans. Mitch McConnell is one who is speaking out against the bill because of the cost yet he voted for Hollywood Productions Tax Credit. I do not have money to go to the movies but Mitch McConnell wants to help those who can afford to make them . Again, taking care of big business and the rich. When is the government going to care for the masses instead of the few?

    February 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  10. Unci

    There is the feeling that the Republilcans are not interested in what is best for the whole country and that their minds are stuck into a very, very narrow mind set that seems to say "right or wrong just vote against anything the Democrates want" ........Most of them seem to be too old to rid themselves of rigid mind sets and consequently, it seems to me they have been in their jobs too long to serve the all of us .....so I say to all Republicans senators and congressmen :
    "We are watching you like we have never watched you before and the next time you run for office remember that every vote that you do or do not get at that time is hinged on what you do today. Futhermore, your younger successors will pay the price of your stubborness and they will have to prove in a concrete and open way that they have not blindly followed your lead or they will pay the price for your arrogance as well.

    February 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Rick Booth

    One option brought up by those who oppose the stimulus is to cut taxes. Help me with this higher math, but how do you cut the taxes of someone who doesn't have an income, who doesn't have a job? How do you cut the taxes of an ex-home owner? How do you cut the taxes of the businesses that have just closed their doors? How do you cut the taxes of those companies that are not selling their products for revenue (that would be taxed)?

    What private sector has stepped up (volunteered) to help the USA out of the economic mess we're in? Who's left to force their hand... our government. Hopefully this "force" is only temporary.

    February 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  12. xtina, chicago IL

    people in the lower incomes prob. won't have to pay more taxes; but people in higher income tax brackets will find a way around paying more taxes. So the money will come from... where?

    February 10, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  13. irving adams

    r. President Obama,

    My name is Common Sense Irv. In light of the problems with the economy I have a solution that may help with the Republicans in regards to tax cuts. Why not do it from the coffers of the American public itself. A percentage of Americans have money put away in various financial instruments for retirement, investment, 401Ks etc. We could have them move the money without penalty or taxation to our floundering banking system in the form of savings accounts. Now here's the meat.

    Make each dollar saved an incremental tax break. For example: make one dollar saved 1/10 of a percent tax break applied directly to adjusted gross income. Keep in mind these percentages are purely hypothetical. However they illustrate the jist of the theory.

    1- Again 1 dollar saved =1/10 of a percentage point from your adjusted gross income. In this example every 100 dollars of real money moved out of these various retirement and investment instruments and saved would = a full percentage point in tax breaks.

    2- Place a minimum on the amount to qualify for the tax break, a time frame the money would have to stay in the savings account to qualify and of course a ceiling on the amount of tax break to be gotten.

    3- As an added incentive to qualify for this program the participating banks would have to use this influx of cash as an immediate borrowing capitalization. In other words if they hoard it they will not be eligible for the program thus depositors will have to go elsewhere.

    4. Some type of commitment by the banking community would have to be in place a head of time to insure this aspect of the plan.

    Why I think this would work?

    1. This would empower people who have money to get involved with the rebuilding of America and it’s not just giving a hand out. They stand to gain by opening a regular saving account and receiving a huge one time tax break (of course you could extend this plan as long as you like).

    2. It encourages competition by the banks to get people saving. Obviously there would be all types of plans and incentives out there as the banks compete for that saving dollar.

    3. Its taking real money already in the economy and redistributing it for the greater good at no penalty to the participants.

    4. The beauty of the plan it gives people a reason to invest right away.

    The Mechanics

    1. No existing saving account would qualify. Money would have to be moved to new savings account designated for this program. Even if the money is in the same bank they would have to establish a new account specifically for this program.

    2. By doing this banks would not be able to hide the funds or use them for immediate consumer borrowing.

    3. In place from the beginning a government reporting system for the banks to keep track of the new accounts and how the new capital is being borrowed out.

    4. Tougher penalties for not playing by the rules.

    In closing this is a rough draft of a different approach to our problems in jump starting the economy It’s a win/win for all involved. There are many ideas and twist that can be incorporated into this simple plan.

    To recap: Joe Plumber takes out of his 401K 10'000 dollars and puts it in a simple saving account.

    According to the formula this would = a 100% tax break or a max out figure in accordance with a scale to be determined by the government.

    The idea is to set the scale to be inclusive to all that choose to participate.

    If done correctly the scales could be set to be attractive to the largest and smallest saver.

    Well that’s it. I hope this spawns some different thoughts about our nations problems. My name is Common Sense Irv.
    Thanks in advance for reading this!!!

    February 10, 2009 at 11:45 am |