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Posts Tagged ‘Stimulus Bill’

Obama Signing Stimulus Bill In Denver: VIDEO, UPDATES

AP/Huffington Post |  BEN FELLER   |   February 17, 2009 08:40 AM

Check back here at 2:30 PM ET for live video of Obama signing the stimulus bill.

President Barack Obama is ready to sign into law the most sweeping economic package in decades, a rescue plan meant to reinvigorate job creation, consumer spending and public optimism. Add the bill to an ever-growing deficit.

Capping the biggest victory of his month-old administration, Obama will sign the economic legislation Tuesday in Denver.

The setting, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, is meant to underscore the investments the new law will make in “green” energy-related jobs. It also allows Obama to get away from Washington, where the bill’s passage was a mostly partisan affair, and be among people who may benefit from the huge government intervention.

On Wednesday in Arizona, Obama will unveil another part of his economic recovery effort _ a plan to help millions of homeowners fend off foreclosure.

But first comes the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, which tries to attack the nation’s economic free fall on multiple fronts.

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Obama: Stimulus a ‘major milestone to recovery’

RAW STORY
Published: Saturday February 14, 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama early Saturday hailed a 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan passed by Congress, calling it “a major milestone on our road to recovery.”

“This is a major milestone on our road to recovery, and I want to thank the members of Congress who came together in common purpose to make it happen,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

He promised to sign the package into law “shortly.”

The comments came after the US Congress late Friday approved a 787-billion-dollar package of tax cuts and fresh spending to salvage the broken US economy, handing the president his biggest yet political victory.

The Senate voted 60-38 to pass the measure hours after it cleared the House of Representatives by a lopsided 246-183 margin, setting the stage for Obama to sign the measure into law before his self-imposed February 16 deadline.

Obama expressed confidence that the plan “will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, ignite spending by business and consumers alike, and lay a new foundation for our lasting economic growth and prosperity.”

The legislation, a product of hard-fought negotiations this week, allocates 120 billion dollars to infrastructure spending, including monies for highways, trains and expanding broadband Internet access.

It also features nearly 20 billion dollars for renewable energy and 11 billion to modernize the US electrical grid — steps former vice president Al Gore warmly endorsed weeks ago as a major downpayment on Obama’s strategy for fighting climate change.

The bill includes tax cuts — expected to benefit 95 percent of US families — and tens of billions of dollars for extending unemployment benefits, bolstering healthcare for the least well-off and funds to help cash-strapped states avoid cuts in services like education.

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The following video was posted to WhiteHouse.gov on Feb. 14, 2009.

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The Big Winners In Stimulus Compromise: The Upper-Middle Class

Huffington Post- Thomas B. Edsall

February 11, 2009 07:19 PM

When President Obama outlined on January 8 the rationale for the economic stimulus bill, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” he clearly identified the men and women most in trouble:

Nearly two million jobs have now been lost, and on Friday we are likely to learn that we lost more jobs last year than at any time since World War II. Just in the past year, another 2.8 million Americans who want and need full-time work have had to settle for part-time jobs.

The House-Senate compromise, however, cuts funds for extended health care coverage for the unemployed; cuts $30 billion in aid to state governments to prevent reductions in social services to the poor and out-of-work; and also cuts a special “Making Work Pay” tax holiday from $500 to $400 for an individual, and from $1,000 to $800 for a couple, for low-to-middle-income workers still hanging on to their jobs

Amid all the cutting, however, one group emerged unscathed: the upper-middle class, the not-quite-super-rich, but certainly not on the ropes. Most of these folks, in terms of income and employment, are what could be called the un-needy, a group clearly distinct from those Obama identified as the core target of the legislation. The “compromise” legislation includes $70 billion, or just under 10 percent of the whole package, to be used expressly to take care of these affluent people.

In fact, these lucky men and women make so much money that they fall into the ever-expanding grasp of the alternative minimum tax (AMT). The AMT was originally designed in 1969 to prevent the nation’s millionaires and billionaires from using tax loopholes to pay zero income tax. That year, 155 very wealthy taxpayers paid no federal tax whatsoever. This year, if the law remains as it is currently crafted, the AMT would, through bracket creep, apply to as many as 25 million taxpayers, including those making in the $85,000 to $250,000 range, depending on how many deductions they claim (the more deductions, the more likely the AMT comes into play).

There is a strong case to be made that the AMT was never intended to apply to people in these income categories – for example two public school teachers married to each other — and Congress in recent years has repeatedly passed temporary one-year “patches” postponing the downward reach of the tax provision.

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Stimulus Package Passes With Zero Republican Support

Huffington Post- Ryan Grim

January 28, 2009 07:22 PM

A nearly $820 billion stimulus package passed the House of Representatives Wednesday without a single Republican vote. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it stands a better chance of picking up at least a modicum of bipartisan support.

Approval of the bill is a victory for President Barack Obama and comes only eight days after his inauguration — the swiftest passage of such a massive package in American history. The vote was 244-188, with 11 Democrats crossing party lines and opposing the measure.

Obama ventured to Capitol Hill on Tuesday and met separately with House and Senate Republicans in hopes of garnering their support. He invited roughly a dozen GOP moderates to the White House Tuesday evening for an extended discussion — and cookies and soda — with chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. And before Wednesday’s vote, six House Republicans, five Senate Republicans and an equal number of Democrats gathered for a White House meeting.

Obama also persuaded House Democrats to remove provisions related to family-planning from the stimulus and — over the objections of many Democrats — inserted large tax cuts for businesses that Republicans wanted.

None of it was enough.

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Leaders of a New York campaign to help the jobless in 1932. The unemployment rate is expected to peak at 8 or 9 percent.

Some Forecasters See a Fast Economic Recovery

Published: January 2, 2009

Economics as the dismal science? Not in some quarters.

In the midst of the deepest recession in the experience of most Americans, many professional forecasters are optimistically heading into the new year declaring that the worst may soon be over.

For this rosy picture to play out, they are counting on the Obama administration and Congress to come through with a substantial stimulus package, at least $675 billion over two years.

They say that will get the economy moving again in the face of persistently weak spending by consumers and businesses, not to mention banks that are reluctant to extend credit.

If the dominoes fall the right way, the economy should bottom out and start growing again in small steps by July, according to the December survey of 50 professional forecasters by Blue Chip Economic Indicators. Investors seemed to be in a similarly optimistic mood on Friday, bidding up stocks by about 3 percent.

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Obama team, Congress fleshing out stimulus bill


Dec 19, 7:56 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama’s team and congressional staff are scrambling to come up with details of a plan to pump up the droopy economy with $650 billion or more in government spending over the next few years.

The aides met in the basement of the Capitol on Friday to devise ways to pump public money into science, energy, education, health care and infrastructure programs, as well as to help the poor and unemployed.

They hope unleashing a torrent of spending in the near term will create jobs and lift the economy.

But the amounts of money under consideration are so enormous – larger than either the Pentagon’s annual budget or the entire domestic budget passed each year by Congress – that it’s likely to prove challenging to spend so much without wasting taxpayer dollars.

Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress want to enact the still-emerging plan as soon as possible after he takes office on Jan. 20. They hope to agree on an outline by Christmas, said a House Democratic leadership aide, who requested anonymity to discuss the ongoing talks.

The plan, which some Obama aides think could swell to about $850 billion after negotiations with Congress, would be the largest investment in public infrastructure since the federal highway system was established in the 1950s. It also would provide tens of billions in dollars of aid to financially strapped states.

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