House Republicans achieved
a narrow victory Wednesday, passing a $99.5 billion economic stimulus bill.
The 214-216 vote is likely indicative of a party showdown when the debate
moves on to the Senate.
House Republicans favored
rebates and tax cuts for businesses and individuals, while Democrats disapproved,
calling the bill a wish list for big companies.
On Tuesday, Democrat
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana unveiled a $70 billion proposal that he said would
suit the White House. According to published reports, however, it was called
by Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill a "spending package, not a stimulus
package." According to CBS News, the Baucus legislation proposes rebates
for low-income Americans, faster expensing for depreciation and unemployment
benefits, health benefits and agricultural spending.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
and other top Democrats are meanwhile saying a stimulus package must include
spending on public health systems and local infrastructure, especially highways.