Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) threw her weight Thursday behind a massive transportation bill but threw cold water on the potential for another stimulus package any time soon.I am a proponent for bringing up a full transportation bill, which is a great jobs bill, [and] at some point we may need to do an extension of unemployment benefits, Pelosi said. But she said she didnt yet see the need for a massive new stimulus package.We have to be very careful about spending on this, she said.Other Democrats, including House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who heads a Transportation subcommittee, have long supported a much larger stimulus package for infrastructure.And House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that she and many other Democrats wanted the infrastructure package to be much larger in the original stimulus bill but that it was pared down in a failed effort to gain Republican votes. Slaughter also said Congress would act if the economy continues to stumble.Were not just going to sit here, she said.Oberstar has proposed a $500 billion, six-year transportation measure, but Democrats have not yet agreed on a way to fully pay for it. The Obama administration has proposed delaying action on a long-term bill until 2011 and wants a stop-gap measure passed this month to prevent the transportation fund from running out sometime in August or September.Oberstar and DeFazio said Wednesday that they would be willing to support a short-term funding plan this month but are adamantly opposed to an 18-month extension.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.