Stimulus Passes Senate – $838 Billion

The second shoe has dropped:

An $838 billion economic recovery bill cleared the Senate Tuesday, setting the stage for final negotiations with the House and President Barack Obama, who must step forward now and put his own stamp on the package.

The 61-37 roll call followed a last Republican effort to derail president’s initiative by raising a budget point of order against the massive bill for adding to the deficit. This also failed on an identical 61-37 vote waiving the rules.

Just three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania — crossed the aisle to back the president. Going forward, Obama’s challenge will be to retain this support while also bridging a rural-urban divide in his own party that could delay a final agreement.

ProPublica compares the House and Senate versions in detail.

As hard as this was, the real work begins now. Reconciling these two rather different bills and coming up with something that can still pass the Senate — let alone get 60 votes in the Senate — is no easy task. My guess is that we’ll eventually pass something significantly smaller.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. odograph says:

    I gave a link to Tyler Cowin in the other thread. He says (if we follow his links) that the mainstream consensus is for a split:

    In testimony before the House Budget Committee yesterday, Alice M. Rivlin, who was President Bill Clinton’s budget director, suggested splitting the plan, implementing its immediate stimulus components now and taking more time to plan the longer-term transformative spending to make sure it is done right.

    I’d be OK with that.

  2. PD Shaw says:

    I see the largest earmark in history is in the Senate version.

  3. just me says:

    In testimony before the House Budget Committee yesterday, Alice M. Rivlin, who was President Bill Clinton’s budget director, suggested splitting the plan, implementing its immediate stimulus components now and taking more time to plan the longer-term transformative spending to make sure it is done right.

    I think this makes good sense.

    I can see an argument to rush the immediate stimulus-like tax cuts, extension of unemployment and similar.

    I think we need to think more carefully and plan more carefully all the other stuff and whether the benefit of spending in the long run will outweigh the cost of taking on the debt.

  4. So what’s it going to be, devaluation of the dollar or repudiation of the debt?

  5. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I vote for devaluation of the dollar so that I can pay off my new car with worthless dollars. Two more years of Democratic dictatorship and we can vote in responsible people. People who believe in capitalism not communism.

  6. […] up with something that is a lot closer to the Senate’s version than the House’s and, as James Joyner notes, it’s probably going to end up being smaller than what was passed today, although I doubt by […]

  7. markm says:

    Reconciling these two rather different bills and coming up with something that can still pass the Senate — let alone get 60 votes in the Senate — is no easy task.

    Keep in mind, Nancy Pelosi said today if she can in any way spend more to create jobs she’ll add it in…also, Specter and either Snow or Collins said if there is additional porkification in dovetailing these bills they would drop their support.

    I see Schumer doesn’t think Americans care about the “porky” parts of the stimulus…hmmm.

  8. Joe R. says:

    My guess is that we’ll eventually pass something significantly smaller.

    Then you are far more trusting of the political process than I am. If it falls south of $800 billion I’ll be surprised. If it falls south of $700 billion I’ll be shocked. A 20% reduction (which is where I would begin to use the adjective “significant,” although I’m open to other definitions) would put the bill in the $670 billion range.

  9. markm says:

    My guess is that we’ll eventually pass something significantly smaller.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18702.html

    “Both Obama and Pelosi are hoping to restore significant stimulus spending eliminated by the Senate, especially $21 billion in school construction and technology grants, $10.3 billion in COBRA insurance and $8.6 billion in new Medicaid coverage for the unemployed.”

    I’m sure there will be yet more gems added back in.

  10. Bithead says:

    I see Schumer doesn’t think Americans care about the “porky” parts of the stimulus…hmmm.

    Yeah, I saw that. HAs tere ever been anyone more totally discnnected from reality, than Chuckles Schumer? Here we have the calls flowing into Washington running on the order of 100 to one against, at a call volume never seen before…. we ahve polling data backing those numbers…. and this moron comes up with a line like that?

    Now to be fair to Chuckles, he may have been attending the slobbering Hero worship sessions town hall meetings Obama’s people arranged, and is judging by the reactions of the people that they allowed in after checking their attitudes showed up .

    But I make the observation that with the exception of those people, the Democrats have managed to unite people as seldom before… unite the people against the Demcrats.