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The Washington Independent

New Stimulus Plan Posed to Define Year’s Congressional Debate

For weeks, Republican lawmakers have been pushing for an increase in offshore oil drilling, hoping to use towering fuel costs and Democrats’ historic

Tyrese Griffin
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 15, 2008

For weeks, Republican lawmakers have been pushing for an increase in offshore oil drilling, hoping to use towering fuel costs and Democrats’ historic opposition to the drilling expansion to make the energy debate the defining issue of the congressional campaign season.

Then Lehman Bros. crumpled into bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch was sold out and AIG began teetering at the brink of collapse.

Now, suddenly, the price of gas — which has fallen steadily for months — doesn’t seem so drastic as a flailing Wall Street. Democrats are using the economic turmoil to promote a second economic stimulus package — something GOP leaders, including President George W. Bush, have thus far resisted.

The Democrats’ $50 billion stimulus blueprint includes increased funding for infrastructure projects, Medicaid, low-incoming heating assistance, the ailing auto industry, an extension of unemployment benefits and a much-lobbied extension of renewable fuel tax credits. In short, there’s something for everyone, and Republicans facing tough reelections will have no simple time opposing the legislation.

As Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said today (quoted in The Hill): “I think the Republicans are looking for an opportunity, particularly the ones up for reelection … to do something different from George Bush economic policies.”

One element that might remain the same: Democrats haven’t indicated that they plan to offset the $50 billion.

Tyrese Griffin | Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.


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