February 6th, 2009
09:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Done Deal On Capitol Hill?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/06/stimulus/art.collins.interview.cnn.jpg caption="Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, right, is one of the senators responsible for Friday's compromise plan."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

After a long day of negotiations behind closed doors and intense public debate, the Senate has revamped the stimulus plan and could put it to a vote sometime this weekend. We'll have all the late breaking details from Capitol Hill.

The price tag has dropped to $780 billion, down from $900 billion. We'll break down the changes for you tonight.

The big question: Do the Dems have at least two Republicans on board to get this bill passed? The Democrats now hold 58 seats in the Senate and need 60 votes to win passage.

Senator Ed Kennedy has been absent from Capitol Hill due to his health problems. There's talk of him coming back just to vote on the stimulus bill.

What do you think of that maneuver?

We also have new details on the mother of the octuplets. We learned today that the California Medical Board is investigating her fertility doctor. Were medical standards violated?

Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Joyce

    I know how easy it is to be out touch and I am not rich! I use to be middle class until the Wll Street Massacre of my money!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  2. Joyce

    Please report on the good points in the Recovery Bill and stop giving the few republicans all of the air time! I am sick of them!

    This is so depressing for the majority of us who wants the president to succeed. My die hard republicans that are not super rich wants him to succeed, contrary to what Rush says.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  3. Kassie

    How much of this pork going to Democratic states? how much will benefit illegals?

    February 9, 2009 at 12:57 am |
  4. Mike Henderson

    The whole Stimulus debate shows the hypocrisy of the Republican Party.

    John McCain: "The Democrats are not more Bi-Patisan than the Republicans." Oh really! You admit that the Republican Party for the past 8 years of GWB was basically "in your face." Poor John

    Deficient Spending: Where were all the Republican Senators during the past 8 years of the steepest run-up of government expansion and deficit spending in recent history. Oh Yes! They were just licking the hand of their great Presidential leader who was irresponsible.

    Even Ron Paul, a staunch Republican, knows that most of the Republican Senators simply set on the side line and sung the party mantra – follow Good Boy George W. Bush.

    My Opinions. Unfortunately the Opinion of the majority of Americans.

    Mike Henderson, Former Republican for 35+ years

    February 8, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  5. Dave

    I agree that the U.S. economy needs a jump start. Something has to happen to get consumer confidence back up. I don't agree with bailing the banks out entirely or maybe directily. The bailout needs to go where it will help the most. To the American people. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that the banks can be in a financial bliss but that doesn't put me in a position that I want to taken on more debt because were I work demand for our products has all but disappeared. Neither situations are helped by the banks being bailed out. It just seems to be common sense to put some money in the peoples hands so they can help themselves because it doesn't look like anybody else will.

    February 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  6. a. maes

    Criticize, criticize!
    How can anyone expect one man to restore a country that is in such dis-repair in less than 30 days. Have you ever tried to restore any age old relic. It took Bush, the GOPand Wallstreet more than eight years to dismantle America!
    The "Miracle on the Hudson" was one thing but please citizens as long as the GOP is still over staying their welcome and holding hands with Wallstreet we're going to need to fight for our freedom.
    This is a modern version of the "Civil War". Brother against brother.
    This is only the start and if you don't believe that, believe in history. History will tell you how hard it is for "human behavior" to learn a lesson.
    There has been and there will be more "collateral damage".
    First we must accept the pain then move on.
    With our newly found administration it will happen but not today.
    Let's clear our heads and make the next step work for us.

    A. Maes

    February 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  7. Larry L.

    TO: Eileen–You do "get it".
    "This is not bipartisan," said Sen. John McCain, who lost the 2008 election to Obama. "If this legislation is passed, it'll be a very bad day for America."

    Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell compared the plan to President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" public works program, which he said did not help the nation out of the Great Depression.

    "We're talking about an extraordinarily large amount of money, and a crushing debt for our grandchildren," said McConnell of Kentucky. "Now, if most Republicans were convinced that this would work, there might be a greater willingness to support it. But all the historical evidence suggests that it's highly unlikely to work."

    February 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  8. Larry L.

    "This is not bipartisan," said Sen. John McCain, who lost the 2008 election to Obama. "If this legislation is passed, it'll be a very bad day for America."

    Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell compared the plan to President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" public works program, which he said did not help the nation out of the Great Depression.

    "We're talking about an extraordinarily large amount of money, and a crushing debt for our grandchildren," said McConnell of Kentucky. "Now, if most Republicans were convinced that this would work, there might be a greater willingness to support it. But all the historical evidence suggests that it's highly unlikely to work."

    February 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  9. Walter Wells, Unemployed Banker

    It starts with housing. Why are we waiting? Stop the forclosures. Hire unemployed bankers to negotiate a way to keep folks in their homes.

    Let's try: 40 year mortgages, a principal reduction writeoff then take a conditional "soft lien" against the writeoff, interest only payments (but some type of payment nevertheless), special credit reporting adjustments, forget the escrows, rent the homes back to foreclosed with title given back after 15 consecutive reduced payments.

    Initiate the "Bad Bank" for these defaults so the banks look good again for extending credit. Spend the billions to buy the defaults from the bank at a discount. Negotiate a settlement of the initial writeoff if good faith is excersised. Real estate still has a value.

    When housing stabilizes the neighbors will stop complaining "What about me?"

    February 8, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  10. henry

    want to raise tons of money to fund government programs? I was born in Los Angeles now living in Alberta Canada, here we pay alot more tax on tobacco and alcohol. The average price for a pack of smokes is 10 bucks. The average price for a 6-pack of beer is 12 bucks. If that happened in the U.S. there the government would make tons of extra money that can be used to fund programs which will create jobs without having to print more money. Also i think less young adults will start to drink and smoke because it will not be cheap resulting down the line in less patients going through our health care system with alcohol and tobacco related sickness.
    henry in edmonton

    February 8, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  11. Patricia Williams

    why isn't Obama getting scrutinized over the mortgage deal he got when he purchased his million dollar home. I understand he got a very sweet deal that saved him big buck. He stated he didn't know he was getting any special deal. He wants to fix our economy but couldn't recognize the special deal he received.

    February 8, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  12. Murali

    Its ironical, when the previous administration was spending billions of tax payers dollars on the War and on Iraq and now there is resistance to spend the same taxpayer money on us americans.

    February 8, 2009 at 6:13 am |
  13. allen maes

    Typo correction:
    Just by reading all of these comments you can tell the difference between the R's from the D's.
    Step aside GOP. You all had your chance and over stayed your welcome. You violated our families livelyhoods and that's one thing you don't do! Allowed your so-called leader to screw-up things for generations to come. Now GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY and let the PEOPLE who were the majority and who won the elections fair and square, so we can put some pride back into our country and get some real work done.
    Your ex-leader and the GOP is still an embaressment to America and to the world and will be for generations! Yeah, hang your heads in shame!

    A. Maes

    February 8, 2009 at 5:49 am |
  14. Bill

    They way the "multipier" for each dollar spent is 45. The Census saY that there are 111 million households in the U.S. If the treasurey dept. printed 11 trillion dollars and sent the households 100,000 each in a grant ... problem over. Law enforcement over gougers like banks and the business community and strict regulations would be paramount.

    February 7, 2009 at 9:03 pm |
  15. Bob A

    Cooper said tonight that Obama is selling his plan with cautious optmism. I don't know what planet Cooper is on but all I have heard from Obama is catastrophic rhetoric about how the economy is going to hell and we'll be worse in 6 months. Selling his spending bill thru fear. Actually, most economists believe the recession will be over by late summer and most Americans are against the "stimulus bill". The GAO says it will not work and even Biden said it has a 1 in 3 chance of failing. The media needs to stop being sycophants and get the real story out. What a joke!

    February 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  16. Linda B., Ga

    Well Thanks to the crooks in the Senate we will probably now have to wait until Tuesday, on the vote. Then it has to go back to the House for their approval. What a JOKE these people are...they should be ashamed of themselves. Pres. Obama is trying to help us little guys out and Crooks on the Hill are delaying it......I hope when their re-election comes around they are not voted back in.....they=those who are causing the delays. They don't have to worry where their next pay check is coming from, whether they can go get medical care, where their next meal is coming from and will they still have their homes.....
    Thanks alot...

    February 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  17. G. Codiga

    Why are we not talking about stimulus from the bottom up. Here is one way – Stimulate !! Cut Credit Card Rates! This is stimulus fromt he bottom up. Credit Card companies are way overboard charging 20%, 30% and more in a prime rate environment of 3+%. They should float with the prime rate + 6%- remember the Usuary Laws, and these finance charges were and should be the late fees. Don't forget they get 2-4% upfront from the retailer as well.

    February 7, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  18. Wilma

    Where were all the "save money" Republicans during the Bush years, if they had questioned his spending and watched the CEO's, who looted their companies as close as they watch the Democrats for something to find fault with we might not be in this mess.

    We need the stimulus package now, we're dying out here

    February 7, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  19. Lyla from AZ

    I am disappointed and angry that the Republican Party are being allowed to play their typical politics. The President should not have tried to make this bill bipartisan because the Republicans don't play unless they get their way! Shame on them!!

    While they are playing politics, every minute more people across the nation are losing their jobs and homes.

    The Republicans should be blasted by every voter out their for being obstructionists and you the press should be playing that aspect over and over again. If only these Republicans would have worked half as hard on all the bills they just signed off on and gave us this huge deficit in the first place.

    They are so accustomed to being in power these past 8 years they are behaving like the spoiled brats and cry babies they are.

    I can't emphasize enough the irresponsible behavior of the Republican congressman. You, the press should be harping on the fact how the Republicans are holding up this important work with absolutely no concern for the American people.

    February 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  20. jimmy

    All the democrats have to do is tell the GOP that the money is for Iraq, Then they will be jumping all over themselves to sign up for it .. After all they gave $50 billion dollars a month to Iraq... If only the Gop was helping us as much as they helped Iraq..

    February 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  21. Maria

    A modest payable (2-5 yrs) Stimulus must be used to create direct jobs. Don't treat tax payers money to coax 'the troubled " for political popularity (as a give away ) ; it is unrealistic economic recovery plan . Economy is always in cycle. Simply put, the Law Makers (must be clean, no vested interest), the Banks( honestly sort out who are qualified for loans), the Wall Street ( the barometer to gauge economy must have social responsibility in profit manupulating / taking) are the formula to start recovery. Bravo to debted CEOs capped salary. The on going dishonesty, no-Social Responsibilty, quasi Transparentcy and non Ethical conducts from the top men are so ridiculous in USA. They dare to admit only when caught red-handed.
    The top men ,CEO s are the Silent (more cruel) Killers. USA who defended Human Rights by policing the world over must prove to its own people. The tax payers moneys the Top men had taken must be returned in whatever way Nobody is irreplacable, the law is man made anyways. Do they need a revolution to give back what they had stolen? The whole nation is troubled and suffering the top men are totally heartless. Cheating tax, greed, smart talk, you name it. Their actions are against HR because to earn a living wage through job one must took a risk of death ( car, job accidents), emotional (daily hours) , think of that blood and sweat sacrifices. Now the top men and CEO hypocrites are still going their merry way when all around them suffer from what they had taken. The country surely need to change!

    February 7, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  22. ronvan

    FED UP!!! When & if you watch TV, about the "STIMULUS" it becomes so disgusting that it amazes me that this country has survived this long!!! Democrates vs Republicans, leftwingers – rightwingers – centrist and on and on! There is plenty of blame on both sides, but bottom line for me is that BUSH was in charge when all this started and he & his Republicans did NOTHING!! NOW they have the answer for everything! GIVE ME A BREAK!! ONLY interested in their OWN agenda, which does not include the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
    Listening to EXPERTS, from different TV stations, THEY are not even sure how to fix these problems, so why not pass the stimulus as it was and lets see what happens!!

    February 7, 2009 at 9:44 am |

    This crisis started with housing and then mortgage issues.

    All we need is a funded program supporting a 4.5% 30 yr. mortgage for everyone including those who are in default and losing their homes.

    This would move the excess inventory, jump start the construction industry replacing sold product, restore consumer confidence and start selling everything from concrete to furniture to carpets.

    that is a stimulus package.

    February 7, 2009 at 9:18 am |

    The use of captial letters is not and in no way should it be taken as "yelling". It is because everything is getting smaller so that more can fit on less and we are all going to have eye sight problems if this continues.
    As a matter of fact, everyone should start typing in font size 14 or greater plus using caps.

    February 7, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  25. christa ayers

    Darien, how can Obama be out of touch???? For 8 long years we had an administration, who gave a s... about the people of America. They spent money on the war, probably more then 1 trillion. Bridges fell into rivers, food got poisoned, because monies spent for food inspectors salaries got cut and jobs got " streamlined " because of the war. Housing in projects for poor people got slashed all for the war. Maybe you never had any problems with your income, but I hope you do someday, so you can understand. I worked for a so called Housing authority, do you know that people who live there pay 30% of their gross income. The deductions for children are still the same as in 1980, $ 400.00 per child, tell me can you raise your child in this economy for $ 400.00 a year. Neither the Senate nor the Congress who have raised their salaries several times since 1980 ever thought about increasing the per child deduction on the public housing front. Do not say " people in housing don't work" , more than half of them do. Shame on you, support our President in this time of need, not for the president, but for all your fellow Americans who need a plan to survive, think about the poor man in Michigan, he froze to death in his own house, you still are alive, so you don't know about hunger, cold and sickness. Its about people like you who never suffered, that make it hard for all of us. Our infrastructure has suffered since 1980, schools, bridges,highways, they need to be rebuild,teachers need to be hired and not slashed. Do you know, that everybody in Germany pays 45% taxes and 19% Sales taxes. I just can see us over here complaining and whining for the minimal taxes we pay. We should be greatful for what we have and support the plan, 300 billions got already wasted for Financial Instituitons by Mr. BUSH, so start with him and Mr. Cheney.

    February 7, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  26. Cindy

    Why cut education of all things. The construction of schools will create jobs for both the labor force and professionals and in the end our young people will have the tools to learn and compete for jobs in the future. I just don't get there way of thinking. Isn't this what the stimulus is all about? Help me understand.....

    February 7, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  27. Eileen

    My husband and I were young adults during the Carter years, and the stuff Obama is doing will get us the same place, I fear. I know this sounds unbelievable, but the mortgage rates were 21%! We didn't have NAFTA back then, so Americans weren't competing with cheap overseas labor. This bill is a disaster. Our personal budgets don't improve with deficit spending; our national budget is the same. We are shooting ourselves in the foot!

    February 6, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  28. Disgusted

    They cut school construction but leave in the golf courses -
    I have never seen such ridiculous...

    Politcal games are still going on.

    These folks don't live in the real world.

    Change - someone needs to show me where – politics as usual...

    I am disgusted with all of them.. and as for transparency and a culture of change...

    Where shall we start -
    we are letting some lobbyists in the administration - and we have to "think" about releasing that information

    and gee if any of us messed up our taxes like the folks in Washington - we would be in jail - or have our wages garnished..

    I can't even stand to watch or read the news...
    Shame on all of them
    Democrats and Republicans..

    February 6, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  29. maggie

    Please don' t tell me that the first cuts to the stimulus package will be in, what else, education spending. Skimping on education, or bypassing it with NCLB nonsense has certainly been a huge success for us hasn't it? I thought "yes we can" included the children in the United States. Children are the future, politicians. Wake up.

    February 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  30. Pat

    And where do you think all this money is going to come from? Congress has to learn to spend within the confines of what's given them. They can say tax cuts, money for this, money for that, but in the end, someone is going to have to pay for it. This country has been rough times before and has worked through them. This country may seem like it's hit rock bottom, this is just fuel to keep them digging further.

    February 6, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  31. duane

    well here we go again there is not must in this package to help the bussiness man to get back on his feet to get the economy going for the average person it is about time we start at the bottom where we need to to correct this problem.
    there is no respect for the law (we run red light , we speed, there is no morality left in the younger people) so this is where we need to start plus cut out all the double government we are taxed to death the people are seeing there money being thrown away.
    in private business heath benefits being cut but look and any government job and the benefits are going the other way lets get real

    February 6, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  32. TB

    Well they completely cut out education and science funding. Wonderful. I can only hope when the chinese run our country they'll have better sense.

    February 6, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  33. Darien Glover

    $780 million will buy a lot of food!

    February 6, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  34. Darien Glover

    Obama is out of touch!

    February 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  35. Kevin

    What amazes me is the fact that the American public is so blinded by what they believe is a solution to the economic downturn will ultimately be the problem: more spending of funds that aren't there. Looking at the stimulus package, I am shocked at anyone with at least a little bit of sense would actually believe this will jump start the economy. Face it folks, we are in for a long hard road that will only get worse.

    February 6, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  36. steve

    Many states have cut back on all construction projects, especially schools in order to balance their budgets. There is little chance that our state, Indiana, will proceed on needed school construction by itself, without the benefit of federal money. Why are intracity transportation projects funded and not schools?

    February 6, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  37. Glenn

    Lets do it ! enough already the repulicans are just there to jockey for their next election hopes, no taz cuts dems go do what you were elected to do.

    February 6, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  38. Bonnie Crawford

    The job losses today were staggering. We need to do something different here and I support President Obama's stimulus plan. If we keep doing the same things we've always done, we'll get the same results. People need help now. The Republicans have some good ideas but their behavior is that of bullies. I want to see Republicans and Democrats work together to solve the Nation's problems.

    February 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  39. Annie Kate

    In this day and age of telecommuting I bet Ted Kennedy has been keeping up with the bill and what is in it and what is not. I think its fine he's coming back to vote. In fact, they ought to set up some way where any senator can vote from home or out on the road when they are seeing their constituents. That way they could get more work done.

    February 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  40. Jit

    I think at least we should know the names of the politicians who put in the request for water park, money for NEA etc. in the stimulus bill. But having said that, I agree with President Obama that we should not let perfect be enemy of the good. Republicans are back to playing politics after having finished their previous assignment of runing the economy.........completely..

    February 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  41. Bhavin

    Avid supporter of President Obama but was very disappointed with the tax cut that he gave out – what good is a small deduction to anyone. Those billions should have been spent on the economy. The returns from that economy would generate more for individuals than tax deductions.

    Live and learn – they are all politicians.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  42. Barbara in Boston

    Of course Senator Kennedy knows what is in the bill. Just because he isn't in Washington means he's out of touch. He has a very competent staff and I'm sure they are all over this bill. By phone, text, fax, and/or email, I can guarantee that Teddy is up to speed.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  43. deb in az

    well i guess harry reid gets his mob musem in las vegas.... i was truely glad to see the water park go in florida......but again nothing for the housing mess which is what started the problem...

    February 6, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  44. Tina

    I don't think any bail out will help. I was not for any of the bail outs.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  45. Judy

    Who in their right mind thinks that investing in building schools is less adventageous than building a bridge?

    Both are construction ... both are long-term investments ...

    GOP should be ashamed of themselves, they have failed our children and have no interest in saving jobs for women.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  46. Luis

    It would be totally irresponsible for Ted Kennedy to come to the hill just to vote. He doesn't even know whats on the bill. I tell you, in this country, their is too much political clinginess.

    Ted will vote on it just because other democrats are voting for it. What a shame. At least read the bill.

    February 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm |