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Reid Announces Stimulus Deal

How badly do lawmakers want to get out of Washington for the scheduled week-long Presidents Day recess? Well, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just announced that it took only one day of House-Senate negotiations to reach a compromise between the two chambers’ stimulus bills. From The Associated Press:

Several Democratic officials said there was an informal deadline of Wednesday afternoon for at least tentative agreement on an overall bill, a time that coincided with a scheduled formal meeting of House and Senate negotiators.

The real decisions were made in Capitol office suites where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other key lawmakers, often joined by White House officials and their own aides, worked late Tuesday night and picked up again in the morning.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the negotiators, said there was agreement to hold the bill to $789 billion, tens of billions below the cost of both the House and Senate bills that had cleared in recent days, and that 35 percent of the total would be in the form of tax cuts.

One observation: The Senate bill was $838 billion; the House bill was $820 billion; and the final product is reported to be … $789 billion?

Look for liberal Democrats — who’d pushed for a much larger spending package than even the Senate proposed — to go home unhappy.

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