Yesterday, the House passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on a 244-188 vote, with every Republican voting against the legislation. Now the bill passes to the Senate for debate and a potential vote next week.
The Senate version of the legislation is not entirely in sync with the House’s version. As McClatchy reported last week, the Senate Finance Committee has already “added some provisions desperately sought by corporate America“:
The Senate bill includes a pro-business tax provision called bonus depreciation, which would allow companies accelerated write-offs of existing equipment and inventory if they make new purchases. The Senate version also incorporates a complicated but important provision that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are pushing. This measure, which isn’t in the House bill, would allow some companies to reduce taxes if they buy down their debt between late 2008 and 2011.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said just few weeks ago that “I don’t think [the stimulus is] going to have any problem getting over 60 votes.” He also reportedly promised that Senate Republicans “would not filibuster against the stimulus package.” Will McConnell keep his word? Or will conservatives continue to deride the economic recovery while advocating a return to Bushonomics?