Thursday, January 29, 2009

What do the Republicans want from the stimulus package?

Sure, the Republicans are raising a big stink about the stimulus plan, but in the end it may not take too much to get a bunch of moderate Republicans to go along in the Senate. From a Reuters article by Richard Cowan entitled "Obama and Congress seek deal on economic stimulus":

McConnell said a main goal for the Senate Republicans will be to increase the amount of tax cuts in the package so they amount to 40 percent of the overall measure, with the rest in emergency spending.

The House-passed bill is closer to 33 percent being devoted to tax cuts -- not hugely different from McConnell's goal.

Give them another $10 billion or so in tax cuts and a number of moderate Republicans will go along with the deal.

I am sure the Republicans want a bunch of other goodies and to strip out some of the Democratic goodies, but the big deal is to assure that the moderate Republicans get enough tax cuts in the bill. Sure, that will make the bill bigger, but in this environment that is not a problem.

President Obama still has a good shot at getting his 80 votes in the Senate, but that is no slam-dunk. Still, 70 to 75 votes could easily be within reach and give the Senate version of the bill at least a somewhat bi-partisan flavor.

-- Jack Krupansky

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