House and Senate negotiators agreed on a compromise $789 billion stimulus plan this afternoon that scales down bills passed by each of the chambers. The final version "creates more jobs than the original Senate bill and spends less than the original House bill," Senate majority leader Harry Reid said. Though lower than in earlier versions, the bill's unprecedented price tag is still unlikely to garner more Republican support, the Washington Post reports.
Some Democrats lamented the $35 billion cut in funds for states, as well as billions cut from school construction and health care, the New York Times reports. The proposed package also sharply reduces tax incentives for home and car buyers, while leaving intact $70 billion to extend the alternative minimum tax protection for the middle class, a measure many think could easily have sailed through Congress another time. "You are not looking at a happy camper," said Sen. Tom Harkin. "They took a lot of stuff out."