Stimulus Tweaking Its Way Through House
When House Democratic leaders unveiled their $825 billion stimulus wish-list last week, it marked only the beginning of a much longer process to forge the proposal upon which many argue the economy depends.
Indeed, the House Appropriations Committee yesterday tweaked the bill a bit, adding amendments requiring that projects funded by the stimulus use only U.S.-made iron and steel; providing $150 million in new funding for food banks; prohibiting Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) from directing any of the funds; and forcing contractors to pay construction workers no less than prevailing local wages.
That won’t be all.
Today, both the House Ways and Means and the House Energy and Commerce panels are considering the bill. And the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is meeting as well, partly (we’re guessing) to vent frustrations about why the Democrats’ blueprint included $275 billion in tax cuts, but tens of billions less on infrastructure projects than the panel recommended last month. (Read: Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) is none too pleased.)
And this, of course, is all happening without input from Senate lawmakers, who are certain to have their own ideas about what the stimulus should prioritize. Stay tuned for more changes…