By Joe Walsh
This week the stimulus bill will reach the Senate floor, but it will not be a smooth process.
Members of the senate, including democrats, are calling to trim excess money allocation. On Marist College’s campus however, some students have a different outlook.
“I get what the Senate is thinking,” junior Chris LaFleche said. “But to be honest, I just don’t see the big deal. Regardless of where the money goes it is going to increase the job market and allow money to change hands,” he added.
While on the surface LaFleche has an interesting point, some congressmen disagree. Members of the Senate believe that the necessity of the bill is being taken advantage of.
“Unfortunately, this bill has become a Christmas tree,” Republican Senator Sue Collins told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Members are hanging their favorite program on it.”
The hold-outs on both sides say that they merely want to eliminate spending that does not create jobs for the public.
In a bipartisan effort, democrats have been responding favorably to republican proposals for tax breaks on new home purchases. This is strategy is intended to encourage potential home-buyers to begin putting money back into the housing market.
All these proposals are to get consumers to do the opposite of what they instinctively want to: stop spending.
“I get that most people think throwing money in the mix will help,” Marist junior Alison Novak said. “This is not the time to just blindly give hand-outs though. If we don’t carefully plan how to use this absurd amount of money, we could end up hindering our recovery.”
Regardless of the non-partisan drive to pass this bill quickly, democrats still worry about a possible filibuster. With 58 confirmed senate seats as democrat, they are striving to convince a few republicans to help move along the process. Senator John McCain is unsure if the two parties will be able to arrive at an agreement of the bill.
The sense of urgency is not only painfully apparent to senators. The San Francisco Chronicle spoke to economist Mark Zandi on the subject.
“If we don’t pass it quickly, then the economic benefit will be significantly reduced because it’s really about confidence,” Zandi said. “If we dillydally and if we debate in the Congress and we don’t get this done, confidence won’t be restored.”