Stimulus And Politics

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scott Simon speaks with NPR political analyst Juan Williams about the status of the economic stimulus bill.


This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama's first major piece of legislation appears to have broken through a barrier in the U.S. Senate. Last night, several Republican senators struck a compromise with moderate Democrats on the president's massive economic stimulus bill. The deal means that there are, apparently, now enough votes in the Senate for the bill to move forward. In a moment, we'll hear from NPR's David Welna but first, joined in the studio by our friend, NPR News analyst Juan Williams. Juan, thanks for being with us.

JUAN WILLIAMS: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: What appears to have made the difference?

WILLIAMS: Well, there's a moderate group of Republicans, very small - we're talking about Susan Collins of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania - working with some Democrats who had questions about the size of the Obama proposal, which was up to nearly a trillion dollars, 920 billion. And so what they've done is cut about $100 billion out of that and principally, they're cutting it out of moneys that - was going to be sent to the states to help preserve school funding, as well as to help unemployed with some health-care benefits. So what you're going to get, then, is a bill that's about 820 billion in size. But of course, it's still got to go forward toward the House. A lot of pressure, though, increasingly from the White House, an agitated, more aggressive President Obama saying yesterday it's inexcusable for the Congress to get bogged down in terms of any small disagreements while unemployment soars to such heights.

SIMON: OK, Will, stay with us.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from