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Economic stimulus bill passes House - no thanks to Republicans

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

The economic stimulus bill passed the House with 96% of Democrats voting for it and 100% of Republicans voting against it.  I guess Washington isn't ready for any sort of bipartisan cooperation yet!

 

Basically Democrats wanted the stimulus to be mostly spending, Republicans wanted it to be mostly tax cuts.  Since the Democrats are in charge, they won.  It will be interesting to see how it goes in the Senate.

post #2 of 14

I'll definitely be watching this closely as well. Keep the updates coming when you can....definitely of interest to everyone I would think.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

The worst part is Obama made 33% of the stimulus tax cuts in order to appease Republicans.  And how do they respond to this extension of the olive branch?  Not a single vote in favor of the package.

 

It's just moronic.  We just had 8 years of the Republicans' way with tax cuts, and look where it got us.  And if you compare economic growth during 'Reaganomics' tax cut administrations vs. 'spending' Democat administrations, the GDP grows more during the Democrats.  One of the big problems now is unemployment, and tax cuts don't create jobs!  Maybe during economically prosperous times, but not when companies are struggling to stay afloat.

 

Anyway, it turns out the Senate is voting on its own version of the bill first, and they'll probably have at least some bipartisan agreement.  It will be interesting to see how the two packages compare.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Updating this story, according to Climate Progres, Senate stimulus plan out-greens the House.

 

The $819 billion [House] recovery bill includes $71 billion for clean energy programs, and another $20 billion for clean energy tax incentives. This huge investment in weatherization, efficiency, transmission, transit, and clean vehicles programs will create at least 459,000 jobs by the end of 2010, as well as reduce oil consumption and global warming pollution.

 

Not to be outdone, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the American Investment and Recovery Plan, S. 336, which includes $78 billion* in clean energy spending as part of its $365 billion recovery package. At the same time the Senate Finance Committee passed a $522 billion tax package that includes $31 billion in tax incentives for renewables and energy efficiency. The bills will likely be joined before Senate floor consideration.

 

They've got this nice bubble chart comparing the two bills:

 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

As Climate Progress reports, there's now some bad news with the Senate bill.

 

On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to increase nuclear loan guarantees by $50 billion in the economic recovery package

 

This is supposed to be an economic stimulus bill, yet this provision would not create a single job for many, many years.

 

the nuclear industry is riddled with bottlenecks. For instance, Japan Steel Works is “the only plant in the world … capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor’s containment vessel in a single piece, reducing the risk of a radiation leak.” And they have a backlog of a few years already.


The additional loans would probably not even result in a single new signed contract for a plant over the next two years, let alone produce a single job in Obama’s first term

 

Hopefully this provision won't make it into the final bill.

post #6 of 14

 Surprisingly large amount towards transit.  I just want 20 velomobiles (10 with electric power), a large solar panel to charge the EVs, then I will be hiring.  Dinky little bit of the stimulus, eh? 

post #7 of 14

This kind of makes me frown a little:   :(

 

WASHINGTON, Feb 7, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Among the cuts in a compromise economic stimulus package reached by Senate negotiators was $2 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings, aides say.
A coalition of Democrats and some Republican U.S. senators reached a compromise Friday that called for cutting billions in spending from an earlier version of the $800 billion-plus economic recovery package.
CNN reported the list of items cut that it received from a Democratic leadership aide showed the federal "green building" program was to have been $7 billion but was pared to $5 billion. Also cut was $300 million of $600 million for a federal fleet of hybrid vehicles; $200 million of $600 million for the federal Superfund pollution clean-up program; and a complete elimination of $122 million for new U.S. Coast Guard polar icebreaker/cutters.
Also on the cut list was $100 million of $427 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; $100 million of $400 million for FBI construction; and $75 million of $150 million for the Smithsonian Institution, CNN reported.
 

Edited by srj0385 - Mon, 09 Feb 2009 17:36:01 GMT
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yeah that really does suck, but even though the funding got pared down, it's certainly better than nothing.

 

Still, I don't know why you would cut things like building energy efficiency improvements and federal hybrid vehicles, which it seems to me would certainly preserve existing jobs and create new ones.  But to get Republicans on board, some stuff had to get cut.

post #9 of 14

 With the financial crisis reaching nearly $10 trillions (will be over that by the next election especially with the new war in Afghanistan), IMF drying out, and international banks slowing down lending, we might not have a country in the future.  Looks like we are making the same mistake that the Romans did...  We are going to bankrupt yourselves to death...  

post #10 of 14

Ooff.  Those are pretty significant cuts.  I wonder how much education is going to get cut.

post #11 of 14

How does everyone think of Obama's press conference last night??

He did mentioned Energy Effecient buildings in government! 

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

The final economic stimulus bill agreement has been reached, and it's good some good green stuff in it, including a 3-year extension of the production tax credit for wind and other renewables and an expanded tax credit for plug in hybrids.

 

A summary is available at Climate Progress.

post #13 of 14

As usual, great summary by climate progress. Not sure if anyone here watches Meet the Press, but last Sunday's edition had some great points. There were 2 democrats and 2 republicans represented and there didn't seem to be much disagreement regarding climate and energy initiatives so they didn't get much airtime (fine by me!)

 

Most of the tension seemed to be around handling the housing and investment crises. I think Barney Frank had the quote of the day when he said regarding the demise of the investment banks, "If on heads you win, and on tails you break even, it encourages you to flip too many coins." And in that case, the flipping of coins is gambling with other peoples money...what a debacle.

 

I'm still inclined to let more banks go out of business so that the market can correct itself more, but we'll see how it all plays out. Scary regardless...

post #14 of 14

Here are some of the new numbers from this article:

 

* $8.4 billion in public transit, which will save 10.3 million barrels of oil and create or preserve 252,000 jobs, with $1.5 billion set aside for expanding capacity and upgrades to existing transit systems

* $8 billion for new high speed rail projects.

* $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects and electricity transmission projects.

* $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program for low income families

* $4.5 billion in green building funding to improve energy efficiency of the federal government (estimate of $2 billion/year in energy savings)

* $3.4 billion in funding for “fossil energy” research (ie clean coal)

* $3.1 billion to help citizens and businesses save energy;

* $3.2 billion in block grants for local government energy efficiency and renewable energy projects

* $2.5 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research

* $2 billion for grants to advanced batter manufacturers

* $300 million for federal fuel efficient vehicles

* Extends for three years through 2012 the tax credit for producing electricity from wind and through 2013 for electricity generated by biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas and ocean currents.

Wind farm developers who previously receiving a production tax credit (which was set to expire this year, now extended to 2012) paid out slowly over time can now choose to take a 30% tax credit the year in which they open for business

* Grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a renewable energy facility for the production of solar cells, wind turbine blades and advanced batteries

* $500 million for green jobs over 2 years which will train 70,000 workers in renewable energy and energy efficiency jobs

* $300 million for state matching grants for rebates to consumers buying higher-tier energy-efficient appliances

* service station owners credit for 50 percent of cost (capped at $50,000) for installing pumps that dispense alternative fuels, such as gasoline made of 85 percent ethanol.

* tax credit of at least $2,500 for purchases of plug-in hybrid vehicles with a max credit of $7500

If you have some more details of what’s in the package (or a revision) related to green energy initiatives please put them in the comments section below.

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