Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2008 1:13:30 PM by DocT111
WASHINGTON (AP) – After consulting with Barack Obama, Democratic leaders are likely to call Congress back to work after the election in hopes of passing legislation that would include extended jobless benefits, money for food stamps and possibly a tax rebate, officials said Saturday.
The bill’s total cost could reach $150 billion, these officials said.
The officials stressed that no final decisions have been made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a formal announcement. House Democrats have announced plans for an economic forum on Monday “to help Congress develop an economic recovery plan that focuses on creating jobs and strengthening our economy.”
Democrats said Obama’s campaign has been involved in discussions on a possible stimulus package. The party’s presidential candidate, running ahead in the polls, has outlined his own proposals for stimulating the economy.
Democrats are increasingly confident of capturing the White House and increasing their majorities in the House and Senate on Nov. 4.
If they are successful, a lame-duck session of Congress two weeks later would allow them to start work on a response to the credit crunch that has sent stock prices plummeting and also threatens to trigger a deep recession. It often takes two or three months for a new Congress to begin turning out legislation, particularly when a new president is settling into the White House.
On the other hand, by attempting to pass legislation next month, Democrats would have to negotiate with President Bush, whose term runs until Jan. 20, 2009. Additionally, Senate Republicans, with 49 seats, could block any measure they opposed.