Senate Dems Don't Have Votes to Pass Stimulus

Senate moderates, GOP insist on stripping out billions
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Feb 4, 2009 9:23 AM CST
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in this September 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s first big bill, the stimulus package passed by the House, lacks the votes to clear a Senate filibuster, reports the Washington Post. Senate moderates are proposing to strip $200 billion in spending to win GOP supporters. Says Democratic whip Dick Durbin, “100 decisions” will be “made between now and when we deliver the bill to the president's desk.”

Urges Lindsey Graham, a conservative who supports halving the bill, “Get us all in a room.” The main effort to trim the bill down is coming from centrists Susan Collins and Ben Nelson. “It's a little bit of a bookkeeping nightmare,” says Nelson. So far, the pair has agreed on “tens of billions” worth of cuts.