Next for stimulus bill: House, Senate hammer out a compromise
The Senate Tuesday passed its own version of the economic stimulus bill totaling $827 billion. You might think that the House version at $820 billion would be similar to the Senate version. You would be wrong.
As National Corridor reports: "The bills are quite different: the Senate bill provides a lot of money for high-speed rail, whereas the House bill provides nothing at all. Meanwhile, while the House bill provides $4.5 billion for fixed guideway modernizaion and new starts funds, the Senate bill provides nothing for those programs, rather placing $5.5 billion in a discretionary fund that the Secretary of the Department of Transportation will have control over; money in that pot can theoretically be transferred to both transit and highway projects."
The House-Senate conference committee now gets to work to negotiate something both bodies can agree on.
Meanwhile, under heavy pressure from the media, Mayor Daley gave sketchy "details" Monday of the city's shovel-ready projects for the stimulus plan. Those projects include "repair or reconstruct 15 miles of public transit lines."