The Senate voted 61 – 36 to end debate and vote on the $838 billion stimulus package. Final passage is expected to be voted on Tuesday. Senate and House negotiators will have only a few days to resolve significant differences before the Presidents Day deadline set by Democratic leaders.
While the Senate and House bills are similar in cost they have differences that could prove difficult to bridge. Many of the health care provisions were eliminated, but the $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) remain.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) warned colleagues on Monday that they would miss the Presidents Day recess if they did not finish work on the economic stimulus package by the end of this week. (The Hill, 2-9-09)