Democratic Leaders Huddle on Stimulus Bill

Posted January 13, 2009 at 8:05pm

House and Senate Democratic leaders headed into a meeting Tuesday night, hoping to pin down the final pieces of a multibillion-dollar economic stimulus package that President-elect Barack Obama has deemed urgent.

Before going into the session, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reiterated her goal of having a stimulus bill signed into law before the Presidents Day recess in mid-February. “I fully intend to meet the deadline,” she said.

Earlier Tuesday, Pelosi met with key committee chairmen to work through details of the forthcoming plan.

Meeting attendees included Appropriations Chairman David Obey (Wis.), Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (N.Y.), Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (Calif.), Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (Minn.), Budget Chairman John Spratt (S.C.), Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (Tenn.), Energy Chairman Henry Waxman (Calif.) and Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (Conn.).

House Democrats plan to begin holding committee markups on the bill sometime next week.

“Right now the goal is to get the bill in print,” said Pelosi.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dismissed the suggestion that Democrats are divided over whether and to what degree tax cuts should be included the package. Democrats made some “general comments” about tax cuts and how much should be spent in the bill, but Reid there was “absolutely no dissention in the Caucus. None.”