Daily VideoFebruary 6, 2009
Senators Divided by Stimulus Bill
President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats are working hard to pass an economic stimulus bill, but they face heavy opposition from Senate Republicans who object to the bill’s high price tag of at least $800 billion. Supporters of the stimulus package say that it will provide money for much-needed investment in infrastructure projects and in industries like health care and education. Opponents argue, however, that the cost of the bill is much too high and believe that more tax cuts are needed to stimulate the economy. Democrats need the votes of 60 senators in order for the bill to pass without the chance of a filibuster, when senators can block a bill from passing. Both sides of the debate are engaging in intense negotiations over cost with the knowledge that Americans are desperate for a solution to the economic problems currently plaguing the nation. In the first part of this video, NewsHour correspondent Kwame Holman reports on the heated debate taking place on Capitol Hill.
“The president made a very strong case yesterday to me for a package of sufficient size to jolt the economy. We don’t want a package that is too small because that will end up just wasting money. On the other hand, we’re very leery of having an enormous package that would not be necessary and would just boost the federal deficit.” – Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine “We have strayed badly from original intent of creating a situation in America to reverse the terrible decline and economic ditch we find the American economy in, to the point where we have had policy — spending programs and policy provisions which have nothing to do with stimulating the economy and creating jobs.” – Senator John McCain, R-Arizona “The time for talk is over. The time for action is now, because we know that, if we do not act, a bad situation will become dramatically worse. Crisis could turn into catastrophe for families and businesses across the country.” – President Barack Obama
Warm Up Questions
1. What is the Senate?
2. Can you name any of your state senators?
3. What is a filibuster? Why is it important to get 60 votes in the Senate?
1. In what ways has the state of the economy affected your community, if at all?
2. Do you think it is fair that a bill needs 60 votes to pass and not just a majority (51)? How does this affect how the Congress works?
3. Make a prediction: do you think that the economy will be better or worse a year from now?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
More than 500 “March for Science” demonstrations took place around the U.S. and the world on Saturday in response to those who challenge widely-accepted scientific evidence and consensus. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The U.S. and North Korea exchanged threats Monday after Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the demilitarized zone between North an South Korea. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
West coast scientists are studying a deadly bat disease called white-nose syndrome after it spread to Washington state from the Northeast last year where it has killed more than 5.5 million bats since 2006. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The Senate confirmed U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Friday in a 54-45 vote, following a contentious week of opposition from Democrats prompted Republicans to change Senate rules in order to push the vote through. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The U.S. launched nearly 60 missiles aimed at strategic air force targets in Syria Thursday night in retaliation for the Syrian’s government’s use of chemical weapons which killed at least 100 civilians on Tuesday. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld