Wednesday, January 28, 2009

McCaskill Not Yet Committed On Stimulus

Could Missouri's top Obama ally defy her President on his first big piece of legislation?
The U.S. House approved an $819 billion dollar federal stimulus package Monday, 244-188.
Not a single Republican supported the measure -- not even Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who was personally courted by Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel with a visit to the White House.
But the House package includes some BIG MO' for Missouri:
$1.2 BILLION for state budget aid
$688 M for highways and bridges
$75 M for mass transit
$344 M for school modernization
$488 M for Pell grants
$13 M for Head Start
STILL: Sen. Claire McCaskill's office said that McCaskill has not yet decided on how to vote. McCaskill spokesperson Maria Speiser said there was some encouraging news because the Senate version, approved by the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday, included more accountability measures. Those include: No earmarks, and more transparency about each funded project. The question is if some of the spending that's considered wasteful in the bill, is even labeled as "an earmark."
"Claire plans to keep her eye on these provisions and others as it moves forward and won’t make a decision about the bill until she sees the final product," Speiser wrote in an e-mail Wednesday afternoon.

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