The Senate passed the $838 billion stimulus plan with one vote to spare — 61-37 — moments ago, sending the bill to President Obama’s desk for signing, after the two houses conference.
The Senate vote follows a partisan passage in the House, where it gained no Republican support.
Senate Republicans fought and won spending reductions to the House version of the plan, and gained additional tax cuts.
Obama’s still yammering in Florida as of the writing of this post.
Snowe, Collins and Specter should never be re-elected again.
The Wall Street Journal has more details,
The two, Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine) and Arlen Specter (R., Pa.), along with a third Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) were the only Republicans who voted in favor of the legislation.
The deal, which saw more than $100 billion in spending and tax credits cut from the bill, was worked out over days of lengthy negotiations between a wider group of lawmakers.
It was enough to bring onside just over the bare minimum of 60 lawmakers required to win approval of the recovery package. Most Republicans have vociferously opposed the Democratic rescue plan, arguing that it has too much new federal government spending that will not stimulate the ailing U.S. economy, and not enough tax credits, which they argue would be more effective.
House and Senate lawmakers will start negotiations possibly as soon as later Tuesday to reach agreement over the differences between the two recovery packages.
The House version of the plan is $819 billion in size, and has more generous grants to state governments to help them cope with strains on their education budgets. It also offers greater financial assistance to people who have lost their medical insurance benefits as a result of losing their jobs.
The Senate bill has a heavier bent towards tax cuts with a $70 billion annual fix for the alternative minimum tax included, as well as tax credits aimed at stimulating new car and house purchases.
It also includes more funding for spending on transportation infrastructure — around $45 billion as compared to roughly $30 billion in the House bill.
Senate lawmakers also agreed to reduce the size of a $500 tax credit which the bulk of American taxpayers would receive.
And so it begins.
The Dow is down 307 points as of the writing of this post.
The Dow has dropped 50 more points. You can actually watch the ticker drop while Bernake speaks at CNBC.