President Obama's Democratic allies in the House have muscled through a year-end measure—with a price tag of $174 billion—aimed at creating jobs through a second round of stimulus spending. The 217-212 vote reflected considerable uneasiness among Democrats over the prospect of voting for more debt-financed spending as the government runs mammoth budget deficits. Republicans were united in their opposition to the bill.
The "Jobs for Main Street Act" includes more than $50 billion for public-works projects and about an equal amount for cash-strapped state and local governments. The measure blends a familiar mix of money for highway, transit and water projects and aid to help communities retain teachers and firefighters. There's also $41 billion for a six-month extension of more generous unemployment benefits and $12 billion to renew health -nsurance subsidies.