Saturday, January 31, 2009

Senate Democrats promise to change stimulus bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats promised more money for infrastructure projects when an almost $900 billion version of President Barack Obama's stimulus plan hits the Senate floor next week.

That could mean more money for roads, bridges and more traditional public works programs than presently in the measure.

"We're going to be offering some amendments to improve the package and hopefully make it more amenable to some of the Republicans," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who wants to add $3 billion for mass transit programs. He said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairman of the panel responsible for transportation and housing spending, would propose more infrastructure spending.

Schumer also said Democrats were looking to make a $7,500 tax credit for first-time homebuyers more generous.

The Senate debate promises to be a freewheeling affair, as senators will be able to offer far more amendments than allowed in the House.

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