Negotiators discuss $800 billion U.S. stimulus deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers worked late into the night on Tuesday haggling over a final package of tax cuts and spending initiatives, as talks centered on an $800 billion package to fight the deepening recession.

"We're not there, but we've made a significant amount of progress the last 10 hours," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters after he wrapped up Tuesday's final negotiating session.

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he hoped an agreement could be reached on Wednesday, but declined to detail the progress made.

Earlier, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said during a pause in late-night meetings that "$800 billion is a figure that has been mentioned" by senators as a final price tag for the bill.

The negotiations in the Capitol, with White House officials attending, began shortly after the Senate passed its $838 billion version of a rescue plan to fight a year-old recession that brings mounting job losses nationwide.

The House of Representatives has approved about $820 billion in spending and tax cuts. The negotiations, by a small group of lawmakers from the Senate and House, are aimed at reconciling the two versions.

President Barack Obama wants the Democratic-controlled Congress to deliver a package by this weekend so he can sign it into law. But he must keep together a narrow coalition that wants the price tag lowered to about $800 billion.

The Senate voted 61-37 on Tuesday to approve its version, with support from just three Republicans, while the House had last month passed its package with no Republican support.

Obama met Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, at the White House earlier on Tuesday to discuss moving ahead and later the new president, on a visit to Florida to build support, called the Senate vote "good news."

On its own, the stimulus package is unlikely to fix the struggling economy because it does not address financial sector problems. As long as banks face losses and struggle to raise money, lending will be limited and so will economic growth.

The Obama administration is trying to address this problem on a separate track through a bank rescue program unveiled by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday.

WALL STREET UNIMPRESSED

But Wall Street reacted skeptically. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 382 points or 4.62 percent as traders cited fears that the new plan would not go far enough to resolve the financial crisis.

The House and Senate approved different mixes of income tax credits and tax incentives to rejuvenate the shattered housing market, as well as tens of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects, healthcare and education.

To win the votes in the Senate needed to pass the stimulus bill, senators cut from its package tens of billions of dollars including $16 billion for school construction and $40 billion in direct aid to states facing growing budget gaps.

Those changes lured three Republicans who were needed to advance the bill in the Senate, where Democrats have only 58 of the 60 votes needed to clear potential procedural hurdles.

But in a sign of tough negotiations ahead, Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who helped broker the initial compromise, said she could not again vote for the measure if it stayed at the current size.

"I'm not saying what's in, what's out. I'm just saying the bottom line must be under $800 billion," she told reporters after the Senate vote.

But Obama has already said he wants some education funds restored to the package and other Democrats have said they believe it should have more spending included.

"There will be an effort to make some changes in the education sectors," said Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat. But he cautioned that Republicans were dead-set against federal money to build schools.

REPUBLICAN HELP NEEDED

He said that negotiators will need the approval of any new details by the three Republican senators who voted for the Senate bill: Collins, Olympia Snowe, also of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, said provisions to offer $50 billion in tax breaks for buying a home or a new car would probably stay in but be modified.

"The main thing is the final conference report is going to be very similar to the Senate bill because that's where the votes are," he said.

Republicans have demanded the focus should be more on tax cuts than spending that they say will not boost the economy.

"It's entirely too large, entirely too untargeted and, more than anything else, it's not timely," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Obama has rejected the Republican push for more tax cuts, arguing such policies under former Republican President George W. Bush contributed to the current crisis.

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Blaze TV hosts Glenn Beck , Chad Prather, and Steven Crowder weighed-in with similar but different thoughts on the fascism associated with canceling Dr. Seuss.

Glenn Beck can't help but wonder, "What is wrong with us?" in light of the Dr. Seuss books that have been cancelled due to "hurtful and wrong" illustrations — that takes America one step closer to complete insanity.

Chad Prather approached the issue from a comedic perspective, stating that "Dr. Seuss is dead and could not be reached for comment."

Steven Crowder explained that Dr. Seuss books were banned for being offensive and insensitive to some. So Steven decided to parody the six banned children's books with progressively titled and hilariously inappropriate versions.

Read the full story from TheBlaze News here.

'We DON'T destroy books'

"They are banning Dr. Seuss books. How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up? ... This is fascism!" Glenn said. "We don't destroy books. What is wrong with us, America?" - Glenn Beck. Download the podcast here.

Chad Prather's comedic take on why Dr. Seuss got canceled

"Dr. Seuss is dead and could not be reached for comment'"- Chad Prather. Download the podcast here.

Dr. Seuss BANNING Bonanza! New Progressive Book Titles Revealed! 

In this 7+1 segment-- Crowder uncovers, new, unreleased Dr. Seuss titles that will be released in the near future (parody). Download the podcast here.

Use promo code BLAZE to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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"What's your climate credit score?" That's a question Americans may have to answer if the green global elites get their way.

While the media has distracted us with Orange Man Bad! and Russia, Russia, Russia!, the Left has been busy working on the fundamental transformation of America with a primary pressure point — YOUR money through YOUR bank. Democrats, forgetting the words of MLK, like to group people into categories. They judge you based on what skin color you have, your religion, occupation, your ideology, and now … your carbon footprint.

On his Wednesday night TV special this week, Glenn Beck exposes how they're now planning, not only to categorize you, but to give you a score. It'll determine everything for you: whether you can buy a home, get a new car, open a business … EVERYTHING. And if you don't bend the knee? You'll be blacklisted. But this isn't some far-off conspiracy theory. Multiple big U.S. banks are part of a private U.S. financial group enacting these policies now. It's here, and we're ALL at risk.

Watch the full episode below:

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Unlike the mainstream media, we at the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" decided to actually do the research and get to the bottom of CPAC's controversial stage design, which many on the Left have suggested was purposefully shaped like an obscure Nazi symbol. We got our answers straight from the source — and it's not what the media is suggesting.

American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp joined Glenn on Wednesday to share the real story of the stage design, who designed it, and why he's taking legal options against those smearing the Conservative Political Action Conference's name seriously.

Matt told Glenn he'd never heard of the alleged Nazi insignia, noting that even a staff member who "studied anti-Semitism in college" did not recognize the obscure symbol. He went on to explain how the stage designing firm, Design Foundry, and Hyatt Hotels worked collaboratively with CPAC event organizers for months throughout the designing and construction of the stage. However, when pressured by the cancel culture mob on social media, both companies "ran for the tall grass."

"Both the Hyatt and [Design Foundry] looked to CPAC and said [they] had nothing to do with this stage. That's outrageous," Matt stated. "This whole process takes months ... everybody saw this. Everybody had to figure out how to construct this. Everybody had eyes on it from every angle. And nobody in that process ever raised their hand and said, 'Oh, you know, I took a European history class, and I noticed [that the stage design looked like a Nazi symbol.] Nobody."

Matt went on to add that, while CPAC expects attacks from the Left, they also have every intention of standing up for themselves, the conservative community, the Jewish community, and all the people who love America.

"We're fine with taking the hits. We always take the hits, it's part of being a prominent conservative group. We'll take the hits, but we won't let people lie," Matt said.

"I can't tell you how many people have called me during the course of this most tumultuous of years and said, at what point does the conservative community, do the 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump, do the people who love America, and think it's okay to read Dr. Seuss, and love Thomas Jefferson and Mount Rushmore, at what point do they start pushing back on the cancel culture? At what point do they say, this is a line you can't cross? I think we're at that line," he added.

"We called our conference, 'America Uncanceled.' The whole thing became about them canceling us. At what point do we not have the right to say,' you can't treat us this way'? You're disparaging us. You're destroying our reputation. You're destroying our ability to be respected members of our community. So, I'm taking your challenge of pursuing our legal options very seriously. And I think we have to go broader. We can't let these companies just follow the woke mob. We can't do it."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

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CNN reporter Jim Acosta was confronted at CPAC by The Federalist reporter David Marcus with a valid question: "When are you guys going to start covering Cuomo?" His answer — or, really, lack of an answer — perfectly demonstrates why he was earlier surrounded by CPAC attendees chanting, "CNN sucks!"

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere react to a video clip of the exchange with Acosta, as well as the mainstream media's double standards when it comes to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Watch the video below:

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