Wednesday, February 6, 2008
That must have felt good. Senate Republicans succeeded, by one vote, in stopping Democrats from pushing through an economic stimulus plan that was more expensive but more geared towards lower-income Americans than President Bush's proposal. The $146 billion Bush plan would give a one-time payment of $600 to individuals plus $300 per child. By contrast, the $158 billion Democratic plan would have given $500 per person, and $300 per child, but also would have given money to retirees and disabled veterans and would have extended unemployment benefits. "There is a better way to go," said after the vote, according to the Reuters international news service. Democrats fell one vote short of the 60 votes needed to limit debate in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to schedule a re-vote, his spokesman said. Democratic senators Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, leading contenders for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, returned to Washington to vote in favor of the measure. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican front-runner for the nomination, did not return to the Senate for the vote.