Senate Might Take Up Stimulus During Lame Duck -- Reid
Alex Kaplun, E&ENews PM reporter
Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) joined House Democratic leaders yesterday
saying Congress should take up a sprawling stimulus bill when it
returns for a lame-duck session shortly after the election.
package is expected to cost about $150 billion and would likely
include initiatives for transportation projects and infrastructure,
assistance to offset residential energy costs, and additional
unemployment and housing benefits.
"In recent weeks, Washington
responded to the financial crisis by quickly developing a bipartisan
plan to restore stability to the financial markets," Reid said.
"It's long past time to deliver that same help directly to working
families in Nevada and throughout the country."
Reid said his
package would incorporate many of the ideas proposed by Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obama.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has likewise asked several
committee chairmen to hold hearings on what should be included in a
second stimulus package, though she has yet to say when the House
would try to move such a bill.
The White House, meanwhile,
signaled today that it could have problems with such stimulus
legislation, saying in particular that it is unclear that
transportation spending would do much to help the economy.
"Infrastructure projects by themselves don't necessarily stimulate
the economy," White House press secretary Dana Perino said today.
"We don't necessarily think that it's a good idea to try to put
taxpayer dollars toward specific projects in specific districts."
Both the White House and Republican congressional leaders have
indicated they would not support a stimulus package that is as large
as the one that Democratic leaders are preparing to promote.
"The proposals that were put forward we did not think would actually
stimulate the economy," Perino said, referring to ideas floated by
Democrats just before they adjourned this month. "There might have
been some meritorious proposals on various issues, but we don't
necessarily think that they would help bring money into the
The Senate is scheduled to return for the lame-duck
session Nov. 17. The House has yet to formally announce that it
would return to Washington this year.