Economic stimulus plan finally gets approved


Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2007
After intense debate and fears of delays, the long-awaited economic stimulus package has passed both houses of Congress. The final package, which President Bush says he will sign next week, reflects compromises between the House and Senate, as well as between Democrats and Republicans.
At a Conservative Political Action Conference President Bush described the legislation as “robust” and “pro-growth,” adding that the package “stimulates business investment and it puts money into the hands of American consumers” (Reuters).

The final package includes more provisions than the original passed by the House, but much less than had been proposed by the Senate version. Individuals making less than $75,000 a year will receive a one-time tax rebate of $600 ($1200 for couples making less than $150,000), which was part of the original plan. Part of the Senate’s version was also included: low-income individuals (those who make more than $3000 a year but not enough to pay taxes), including disabled veterans and retirees on Social Security, will receive a $300 check. The final legislation was passed by the House 380-84 and by the Senate 81-16.

The business side of the package is aimed at the housing market: “t would temporarily raise the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans and the cap on loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy to $729,750” (AP).

Proposals left out of the final legislation include helping to pay for heating bills for low-income households, extending unemployment benefits, and allowing “home builders write off current year losses against previous tax years.”

One of the most controversial issues with the stimulus package has been the debate over whether illegal immigrants should also receive rebate checks. The measure would only apply to those who had an Individual Tax Identification Number, which allowed them to file income taxes. Those opposed to this part of the package asserted that illegal immigrants should not be receiving benefits from being in the country illegally.

In the final version of the stimulus plan the Senate included language which would prevent illegal aliens from receiving a rebate.

The compromise doesn’t necessarily signal a new-found sense of cooperation in Congress, however. Democrats passed the limited version of the legislation they really wanted, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying, “I could have played around with this and tried to pick up that 60th vote, but I made a commitment to get this bill done before (Feb. 15), and we did that.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sided with Republicans, however, insisting that the Senate needed to pass the bill quickly, noting that pushing for everything Democrats wanted would have stalled it too long.

Rebate checks should start arriving in May.

Not enough or too much? It's going to eat into the budget a lot, and there's no guarantee that people will put the money back into the economy instead of into their savings account (ie like me), but hey, I'm not complaining.

? about the stimulus plan. I know that parents of children under the age of 17 will be receiving a check for $300 for each of them, but I also claim my daughter on my taxes who is 20 years old and a full time college student but also makes less than $75,000 a year. Does anyone know if she will be receiving a $300 or a $600 check?