Senators are balking at yesterday's pleas from President Bush for speedy action on the economic stimulus bill, planning substantial additions and changes, reports the Washington Post. Proposed additions include $12.5 billion in unemployment benefits, $5 billion in food stamps. and $800 million for winter heating for the poor. And the resistance to rubber-stamping is bi-partisan: GOP senators are holding out for tax breaks for corporations that reinvest overseas profit back in the US.
"I was very pleased with the progress the House made in working out the agreement, but the Senate is a separate entity, and the White House needs to engage in negotiations with the Senate, as well," GOP Sen. Susan Collins said yesterday. As it stands, the bill contains $150 billion in tax rebates to working and middle-class Americans, and business tax cuts designed to get the economy rolling again. It currently leaves out 20 million seniors living chiefly on Social Security, notes the AP.