Economic Stimulus: Three Times a Charm?

Posted November 5, 2008 at 3:01pm

House Democratic leaders are considering taking up two separate stimulus packages, one during a lame-duck session costing about $100 billion and a second in January with a much larger price tag.

Leaders are still weighing whether and when to consider the measures, however. Sources say it remains unclear whether they will even use the upcoming lame-duck session, set for the week of Nov. 17, to tackle another stimulus measure. Plus, it remains unclear whether Republicans, the president and Senators would support the House Democrats’ version of a package, which is likely to include funds for infrastructure, food stamps, unemployment insurance and state Medicaid assistance.

If two separate stimulus measures are considered, the first is likely to cost $60 billion to $100 billion. The price will “certainly not [go] beyond that,” said a senior Democratic House aide, who added that it is unclear what would make up the $40 billion difference between the two amounts.

Democrats also may bring forward a second, larger stimulus package in January. Several economists have suggested that bill could run upward of $300 billion in order to remedy the nation’s economic crisis.