In Speech, McConnell Promises Changes to Stimulus Package

In a speech on the Senate floor today, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised that Senate Republicans would seek to make changes to the economic stimulus package.

Here is an excerpt:

“We look forward to offering amendments to improve this critical legislation, and move it back to the package President Obama originally proposed – 40 percent tax relief, no wasteful spending, and a bipartisan approach.

“Republicans have better ideas to dramatically improve this bill that will go at the problem, create jobs, and stimulate the economy.

“We have better ideas to address the housing crisis, which is where this problem originated.

“But in order to pass these, and other commonsense amendments, we need support from our friends across the aisle.

“Fixing our economy requires innovative ideas, commonsense solutions and bipartisan cooperation.

“It’s clear from last night’s vote in the House, that the only thing bipartisan about this bill is the opposition to it. It simply doesn’t meet the standard for bipartisan cooperation set by President Obama and welcomed by Republicans in Congress.

“Republicans stand ready to work with our friends across the aisle to create bipartisan legislation which will actually stimulate the economy and create jobs.

You can read the full speech here. The bill is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (S. 1).

Meanwhile, Political Ticker reports that there is a “real split” among Senate Republicans on how to move forward with consideration of the package.

According to the GOP sources, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, wants a “smaller, narrower” bill, which primarily includes tax cuts as well as some housing relief.

There is another group — including some conservatives like Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and some moderates like Susan Collins, R-Maine — working to craft a larger package that would include more of the infrastructure spending the president and Democrats are supporting.

But generally, the GOP sources say, the party is looking for more concessions from President Obama on spending.

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