The House of Representatives approved their version of the $819 billion stimulus package on 28 January 2009. The vote, 244-188, was mostly along party lines, with all Republicans, and 11 Democrats voting against the bill.

At this point, the House package includes an estimated $544 billion in federal spending as well as $275 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses, much of which would go towards transportation and other infrastructure. An estimated $13 billion would also be dedicated towards science, much of which would go towards facilities improvements and other “shovel-ready stimulus projects.

A mammoth $888 billion stimulus bill shifts to the Senate, which is expected to bring it to the floor next week. Obama has said that he would like to get 80 votes on the bill, though he will presumably settle for fewer. Democrats believe they can rely on 58 votes, from the 56 Senate democrats and two independents, however, this is short of the number required to block a filibuster. Republican senators, like their counterparts in the House of Representatives, argue that the bill includes too much spending, and too few tax cuts. Nevertheless, senators on both sides of the aisle agree that some sort of economic stimulus package will be passed in the near future.

 


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