The $787 billion stimulus package expected to land on President Obama’s desk reportedly provides $150bn for infrastructure projects – about 19% of the overall spending called for in the bill.
Most Democratic US House and Senate members, hope to have the bill approved and forwarded to the president for his signature by Monday. In one of the earliest versions of the stimulus package, about $90bn had been set aside for infrastructure projects.
The latest version of the legislation, in addition to earmarking more money for infrastructure, contains “Buy America” language similar to what appeared in the final Senate version. That version said such a provision must be applied consistently with America’s obligations under existing international trade agreements.
The president has been pushing Congress since even before taking office to rapidly approve his plan for picking up the downtrodden US economy.
“I want to thank the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who came together around a hard-fought compromise that will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs and get our economy back on track,” he said in a statement. . “It’s also a plan that will provide immediate tax relief to families and businesses, while investing in priorities like health care, education, energy, and infrastructure that will grow our economy once more.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the stimulus package would cost $787 billion rather than $789 billion as lawmakers estimated. The plan would pump $185 billion into the economy this year and $399 billion next year, the agency said.
Democrats released the text of the plan late last night, prompting complaints from Republicans they didn’t have enough time to review the legislation before voting on it.
“Not one member has read this,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican.
In case you would like to read where all of this money is going, the bill is apparently 1071 pages long in .pdf version.
It is on the US House appropriations web site. http://appropriations.house.gov/
Happy weekend reading!