789 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The 8 member House and Senate negotiation committee has reportedly hashed out a $789 Billion H.R.1 stimulus package and are moving the package forward. The stimulus package is aimed at saving or creating 3 to 4 million jobs, stopping further bleeding of the economy and initiating broader green energy development and also allowing the needed revitalization of the nations aging infrastructure that is sought by President Obama.
The 6 Democrats and 2 Republicans worked into the early morning of Wednesday on the package. They resumed work this morning and before noon they called the package finished.
February 11th, 2009 at 12:00 PM (WhiteHouse.gov lists the time as 12:00 am) the White House Office of the Press Secretary released the following statement from President Obama:
"I want to thank the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who came together around a hard-fought compromise that will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs and get our economy back on track. Just today, the CEO of Caterpillar said that if this American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is passed, his company would be able to rehire some of the employees they’ve been forced to lay off. It’s also a plan that will provide immediate tax relief to families and businesses, while investing in priorities like health care, education, energy, and infrastructure that will grow our economy once more. I’m grateful to the House Democrats for starting this process, and for members in the House and Senate for moving it along with the urgency that this moment demands,"
The compromise includes the funds for unemployment benefits, food stamps, health insurance coverage, road and bridge construction, and more, and it extends $44 Billion to the states that are dealing with budget cuts. The legislation also preserves much of Obama's tax cut for poor and mid income Americans.
The Taliban attacked the Justice Ministry in Kabul Afghanistan today.
Taliban attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul today killed at least 26 people.
"We are reminded today of the brutal tactics that extremists like the Taliban wish to employ," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. "It hardens our resolve, but it also hardens our resolve to get the next steps in Afghanistan right."
Taliban militants launched suicide bomb and gun attacks on three Afghan government buildings in Kabul. The Afghan defense ministry said eight suicide attackers also died in almost simultaneous strikes on the prisons directorate, and justice and education ministries. This was by far the deadliest insurgent attacks in Afghanistan so far this year.
No doubt this will make the decision to move forward with President Obama's plans to switch the major offensive power of the military from Iraq to Afghanistan.
DC Moves toward voting rights
The S-160 bill was passed by a Senate committee today that would give the District of Columbia its first full seat in the House of Representatives. The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee passed the legislation by a vote of 11 to 1 during the committees first business meeting in the new Congress. The bill sets up a crucial vote by the full chamber sometime in the coming months.
You will never guess who the lone "NO" vote came from. That's right, Republican Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee. Committee chairman Joseph Lieberman, Independent from Connecticut said in an opening statement that "we hope and believe this is our year".