Pelosi Mulling Contents of CR, Stimulus

Posted September 18, 2008 at 12:18pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democratic leaders are still deciding which stimulus items to put into a continuing resolution, which is likely to surface next week, and will decide from there which items will be part of a subsequent stimulus package.

“We are going to see what we can get in the CR and go from there,” the Speaker said Thursday.

Asked if unemployment insurance will be included in the CR, Pelosi said, “We’ll see. Let’s face it, we can only have a stimulus package the president is willing to sign.”

The CR could include items for the president such as an India-U.S. nuclear treaty and money for Georgia, according to a senior House Democratic aide.

Another “strong option” is to add three fiscal 2009 appropriations bills that have bipartisan support, the aide said. They are the Homeland Security, Defense and Military Construction-VA spending bills.

Democratic leaders are also lining up hearings in the coming weeks on the crisis in the financial sector.

Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) will hold hearings this month and in October to hear testimony from corporate and administration officials.

Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-S.C.) might also hold hearings on the implications of recent bailouts on the federal budget.

Pelosi said it’s “not a question of a lame duck” but a question of “what we can do,” in terms of when Congress might take legislative action to respond to the market upheaval.

“If we need to be in session, we will be in session,” she said.