The Hill – House Democrats on Wednesday delivered on their promise to President Obama to pass an $819 billion economic stimulus bill, but they had to do so without a single Republican vote.
Although Democrats erupted in cheers after final passage, it was somewhat of a bittersweet victory for the majority, which has been championing what it claimed to be the bipartisan nature of the economic recovery bill.
The massive bill – which has been the top priority of both President Obama and congressional Democrats – will have to be reconciled with a companion bill working its way through the Senate that is now nearly $900 billion with the inclusion of a one-year patch for the alternative minimum tax intended to prevent its application to middle-class taxpayers. Democratic leaders are preparing for a bicameral conference to iron out what could be significant differences between the two bills.
The House bill was a mixture of tax cuts and spending proposals that deviated in detail from the president’s initial proposal, and that divided the chamber along party lines.