Stimulus package headed for House vote Friday
Reluctant to call it quits, key lawmakers bargained into overtime Thursday on the $790 billion economic stimulus legislation before reaching final agreement more than 24 hours after first announcing a deal.
Lingering controversy over school-modernization money and a scaled-back tax break for businesses forced a delay in final votes on the legislation.
But by nightfall, with Democratic leaders eager for final passage by the weekend, all issues were reported settled. House leaders announced a vote for Friday, with the Senate to follow later in the day or over the weekend.
Republicans, lined up to vote against the bill, piled on the scorn. “This is not the smart approach,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader. “The taxpayers of today and tomorrow will be left to clean up the mess.”
President Barack Obama delivered what has become a daily call for congressional action, this time from the industrial heartland. With approval of the bill, he said in Peoria, Ill., companies “may be able to start growing again. Rather than cutting jobs, they may be able to create them again.”
He spoke at Caterpillar Inc., the heavy machinery giant that has announced 22,000 layoffs. The president has said in recent days the company has promised to rescind some of them once the stimulus passes, but Chief Executive Jim Owens said there probably would be more layoffs before that can occur.