The Washington Post reports that the Senate Stimulus bill is short of the 60 votes needed for it to move through the chamber. As the Post noted:
Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.
The vote in the House did not help, with all Republicans and 11 Democrats opposing the House version of the package. The unified Republican opposition in the House will likely empower Republicans in the Senate to stand together as well.
But the opposition rests not just with Republicans. Some Democratic members have expressed opposition as well. $800 billion in new spending and tax relief is a huge package, especially with the deficit already projected to exceed $1.1 trillion in 2009.
So what’s likely to happen? Look for moderates in both parties to put together a list of spending items that need to be cut in order for them to support the remaining package. As the Post reports:
Nelson said he and Collins have agreed to “tens of billions” in cuts, although he said he is skeptical that the effort will reach Collins’s target of $200 billion in reductions. The pair has counted up to 20 allies in their effort, with more Democrats than Republicans at this point.
Whether Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) find the right balance, or another group of Senators come to the table, we expect a compromise to be worked out over the next couple days. The Senate may be in this weekend, but it’s unlikely to leave without passing some form of the package first.
S Corps Lose an Ally
The S corporation community lost one of its greatest advocates the other day with the passing of Don Alexander. As our friend Martin Vaughn with Dow Jones reports:
Donald C. Alexander, who served as Internal Revenue Service Commissioner from 1973 to 1977, died Monday night at 87. Besides leading the IRS, Alexander held a wide range of other public service positions, including serving on the Commission on Federal Paperwork and as commissioner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. He was director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for five years in the 1980s. Most recently, Alexander was a partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, from 1993 until his death. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for service in the 14th Armored Division during World War II.
Don was always a southern gentleman, and he was always focused on improving the rules for S corporations. He testified on behalf of the community before Congress many times. Here is just one sample of his views.