Thursday, February 12, 2009

Slimmer stimulus deal OK'd

Slimmer stimulus deal OK'd
Compromise totals $789B, votes may come this week
By RICHARD WOLF • And JOHN FRITZE • February 12, 2009

WASHINGTON — Racing a self-imposed deadline to get a bill on President Barack Obama's desk, congressional negotiators agreed on a two-year economic stimulus package Wednesday that reduces the size of the tax cuts being offered to workers by 20 percent, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Reid said the legislation should create 3.5 million jobs once Obama signs it into law and it takes effect.

"The middle ground we've reached creates more jobs than the original Senate bill and costs less than the original House bill," said Reid, D-Nev., one of the participants in an exhausting and frenzied round of bargaining.

The emerging legislation includes help for victims of the recession in the form of expanded unemployment benefits, food stamps, health coverage and more, as well as billions for states that face the prospect of making deep cuts in school aid and other programs.

Another provision will mean a one-time payment of $250 for millions of beneficiaries who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and veterans' pensions and disability, according to officials.

The measure also preserves Obama's signature tax cut — a break for millions of lower- and middle-income taxpayers. Wage-earners who don't make enough to pay income taxes would get a reduction in the Social Security and Medicare taxes they pay.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, put the cost at $789 billion, less than either of the bills that the House and Senate passed earlier.

Included in the measure are a $400 tax credit for individuals and an $800 credit for couples, said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee.

Plans were being made for a House vote today or Friday. The Senate was to act immediately thereafter.Slimmer stimulus deal OK'd


It does not say if the veterans or Social Security recipients will have to file for the benefit check or if they will be automatically sent to the people on the rolls, unlike last years stimulus where everyone had to file for the checks, people like me have not filed tax returns in years because we have no taxable income, so I refused to file a form to get a check I am not desperate for money, I don't pay taxes, although I did from 1971 until 2002 when I became totally disabled by my service connected injuries. I get benefits I earned by my military service, I am not a welfare case.

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