Senate GOP blocks the extra $25B Dems are trying to add to the stimulus packageSubmitted by alwayssimon on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 15:35
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked Democrats from adding $25 billion for highways, mass transit, and water projects to President Barack Obama's economic recovery program.
Already unhappy over the size of the measure, Republicans insisted additional infrastructure projects be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the bill.
But the Democratic amendment garnered 58 votes, just shy of the supermajority needed under Senate budget rules, and many more efforts to increase the measure's size are sure to follow.
"We can't add to the size of this bill," said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. "The amount is just inconceivable to most people."
At issue was a plan by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to increase the highway funding in the bill to $40 billion, which reflected complaints from lawmakers in both parties that Obama's plan doesn't do enough to relieve a backlog of unfinished projects. The duo also wanted to increase mass transit programs by $5 billion boost and water projects by $7 billion.