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Stimulus showdown in Washington

Business Times - 11 Feb 2009


COMMENTARY Stimulus showdown in Washington

IN CASE you have been gripped by a sense of nostalgia for the high political drama of the 2008 US presidential race, the current fight in Washington over the economic stimulus plan being promoted by the Obama administration - and challenged by Republicans - could provide you with at least some temporary relief.

No one seriously doubts that President Barack Obama is going to win the current fight over the fate of the proposed US$800 billion government spending and tax cut plan. The US House of Representatives has already approved the earlier Democratic version of the stimulus plan legislation without any support from Republicans.

And the Senate is expected to approve a watered-down version of the House bill totalling about US$827 billion, and that would consist of about 60 per cent spending and 40 per cent tax. The bill is being supported by 58 Democratic and Independent Senators joined by a small group of moderate …