Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that he hopes the Senate can conclude negotiations on the final stimulus package and vote on the package before adjournment this evening. The PBS News Hour tonight has reported a breakthough in the talks for a deal valued at $780 billion.”The world is waiting to see what we’re going to do in the next 24 hours,” said Sen. Reid, referring to this morning’s announcement of the unemployment numbers that rival the worst figures in 1974.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), right, joined by
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb), left, speaks with
reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, following a Senators-
only meeting to discuss the stimulus package.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo), center, and
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo), look on.
(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
“These numbers demand action,” President Barack Obama said this morning. “It is inexcusable and irresponsible for any of us to get bogged down in distraction, delay or politics as usual while millions of Americans are being put out of work.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in contrast, keeps asserting that it was more important to get the package right than to pass it quickly.
A group of almost 20 moderate senators from both parties continue negotiations at this hour, aiming to cut around $100 billion from President Obama’s two-year plan, which has grown through floor amendments to $935 billion. (For the full text of the 736-page stimulus bill, prior this week’s amendments, click here.)