Bill's New Baubles Persuade Some, May Scare Others

Adding pet projects could cost support of conservative Blue Dog Dems
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2008 2:41 PM CDT
In this video image, the final vote tally is displayed after the Senate passed the Economic Stabilization Act by a vote of 74-25 last night.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Senate’s version of the bailout bill is loaded with provisions specifically designed to sweeten the pot for House dissenters, Politico reports, including $3.3 billion for rural schools, equal health coverage for the mentally ill, and a suspension of the Alternative Minimum Tax. These changes may win over House Republicans, but have infuriated fiscally conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats.

That loose coalition, which includes Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, wanted the Senate to offset those deficit-boosting measures, and some, Hoyer hinted, may flip. But Republicans aren’t eager to repeat Monday’s “no” vote, which generated a big backlash. “I would not have moved forward on this,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, “if I didn’t think the chances in the House were good.”