From Think Progress, with bolding added:
“CongressDaily reports the key elements of the tentative compromise:
House and Senate leaders have struck a tentative deal on a stimulus package with a top-line figure of $789.5 billion, Democratic aides said this morning. The overall mix of funding and tax provisions remains to be hashed out. One disappointment for President Obama is likely to be a scaled-back “Making Work Pay” tax credit of $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples, which falls short of his goal of $500 and $1,000. But those figures would still meet Obama’s goal of providing a tax credit to 95 percent of working families. Conferees are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. today, although that will largely be a formality. Democratic aides said House Speaker Pelosi intends to bring the bill to the floor Thursday, followed by Senate passage Friday.
Democratic conferees (those setting up the conference report to resolve differences between the Senate and House bills) apparently met all night without a single GOP member, essentially “freezing out” Republican input on the revised bill.
Rep. John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office has objected to the fast tracking:
It appears that Pelosi and Reid staff met all through the night in secret with Democratic conferees’ staff to cobble together the “stimulus” conference report. Republican conferees were frozen out.
The objective appears to be to produce a final conference report on the trillion-dollar spending bill by this afternoon so that floor action can take place in both chambers by Thursday.
They intend to ram this trillion-dollar spending bill through with as little debate and scrutiny as possible.
The House voted unanimously yesterday in support of a Republican measure stating that the American should have 48 hrs to review the bill prior to passage. Will Democrats follow through? Or will they do the opposite of what they voted to do yesterday?
Compare this with the New York Times coverage, which censors out the possibility that the minority party might even have been invited to the conference meetings. NY Times writers David Herszenhorn and Jeff Zeleny report:
Congressional leaders moved quickly into intense negotiations with the Obama administration on Tuesday after the Senate voted 61-37 to approve an $838 billion economic stimulus plan. In a sign of their determination to reconcile the differences between the Senate bill and the $820 billion House version swiftly, the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and the budget director, Peter R. Orszag, huddled at the Capitol on Tuesday evening with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada; and other legislators.
The officials worked late into the night, with Mr. Reid shuttling between meetings with senators in his office and House leaders in Ms. Pelosi’s suite. Centrist senators who were crucial to the stimulus deal, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, Republicans of Maine, Mr. Nelson and Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, returned around 9 p.m. for the talks and left about an hour later.
The group broke for the night shortly before 11:30 p.m. “We’re not there,” Mr. Reid said. “But we have made a significant amount of progress in the last 10 hours.”
Despite the tight timetable, Mr. Emanuel said, the bill could still be finalized this week. “You are in the legislative branch,” he said. “Anything is possible.” He added, “Everybody knows the seriousness of the economic crisis.”