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Senate Stimulus Bill: Watching the Defectives

The Senate is debating various amendments to the $900 billion stimulus bill.  Reid just said that the so-called "centrists" are still in a meeting deciding what they want to do, so I’m taking his assurances that he "has the votes" with a grain of salt.

These are the chuckleheads currently writing their own bill:

A group of 16 senators was meeting today behind closed doors to hammer out a package of cuts.

According to Collins, R-Maine, the group achieved an "in-depth scrubbing of the bill, going line by line item by item."

Emerging from the meeting for a midday break, Sen. Joe Lieberman said the group of Democrats and five Republicans were at a "breakthrough" moment.

 And in other news:

.  Barrasso won’t vote for the stimulus bill but he wants to "exempt certain stimulus-related projects from the mandatory National Environmetal Protection Act review."  Don’t kick the football, Charlie Brown.

.  Just as Dean Baker observed, the Republican "reinflate the Housing Bubble" amendment won’t cost $18.5 billion.  The estimated cost is now $35.5 billion.

Nelson is not backing off his "cuts" as "centrists" flex their muscle:  If partisanship is dead, it’s been replaced by monomania.

.  Did Gibbs pwn Tapper, or did Tapper pwn Gibbs?

.  John Thune offered up his "tax cuts only bill," which he said would cost half as much and create 6 million jobs.  Foothillsmike:  "The republicans have a really great arithmetician that comes up with all this great stuff. A war that will pay for itself, UAW workers making $73/hr. This guy/gal is really great."

.  You can cut to the chase and find out how they get to 60 votes for the low low National Journal subscription price of $1000/yr.

Update:  Bowers lists the likely members of the Collins/Nelson group. 

Update II:  Reid calls it quits for the evening and says they’ll take it up again at 10am.  Sounds like a complete clusterfuck with "paper floating around" that they all need time to study.    Reid says if they can’t get anything done by tomorrow, he’ll file for cloture.

I’m not hearing "60."

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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