Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Senate Bill Passes Senate...On to Conference Committee

Yes, the stimulus package passed the House by a vote of 61-37, with only Collins, Snowe and Specter supporting it (the total does not add up to 100 because Gregg sat it out and the Minnesota seat is still vacant). Though the only Senators to support the measure (Snowe, Collins, Specter) came from states that comfortably voted for Obama last November, this means that part of Boehner's gamble hasn't paid off. In a post-passage news conference, Sens. McConnell (R-KY) and Kyl (R-AZ) attacked the bill for turning the United States into a Socialist county like the rest of the industrialized world, and roasted the amount of (including "pork" for improving our schools and energy grid!). You can view it here, or you can also get the link by clicking on the picture of the vote.

Coverage by the Los Angeles Times
Coverage by C-SPAN
Coverage by National Public Radio

Now that the bill has passed, it goes to conference committe, where the major differences between House and Senate versions, deliniated below

Personally, I hope the conference committee sides with the House on most of the issues--you'll note that the House has allocation more money for infrastructure (the actual subject of this blog), as the bipartisan committee decided to cut the spending on infrastructure improvements suchs as roads, schools, and broadband technogoly. This is very unfortunate, since sectors that would be put to work by those measures (i.e. home construction) have been among the worst hit by the recession. The elite chamber also slashes funding to states, which are in worse shape than the federal government and have to fund most of the infrastructure projects not funded by the feds. The one thing I side with the elite chamber on is increased spending to bring our green energy grid into the 21st century, curtail our dependence on foreign oil, and decrease the trade deficit that is a major cause of the recession.

Yes, readers, I tend to side with BIGGER numbers, because I'm a big-government tax-and-spend hippie Greepeace Liberal pinko Commie Socialist...and I feel that bigger spending will give the First Tiger the appearance of actually doing something.

And that's today's rant. Coming up, I report on the conference committee's findings, and I channel Prometheus.

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