Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, is defending a bipartisan plan that’s in the works to change the economic stimulus package that’s on the fast track in Washington. The U.S. House endorsed the package Tuesday.
It has the backing not only of Democrats who control the House but of Republican President George Bush. Grassley, though, is in key negotiations with Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee who want to extend unemployment benefits.
"I’m going along with increasing the unemployment compensation because we need a bipartisan approach here. We’ve got to forget the politics," Grassley says. "…This point is you’ve got to have a bipartisan compromise." Grassley says in turn, he’s gotten the Democrat who leads the Senate Finance Committee to agree to lift the cap so all American taxpayers will get a refund, not just those who earn $75,000 or less each year as an individual or $150,000 as a family.
"You know, there’s give and take by Republicans and Democrats," Grassley says. "So the Republicans are giving on unemployment. Democrats are giving on not having a lid on the rebate." Grassley says Democrats alone can’t push the economic stimulus plan through the senate without some Republican support or the bill will be bogged down by a filibuster.
It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster and Democrats only have 51 votes in the Senate. "To move things through the senate, it’s got to be done in a bipartisan way or nothing’s going to get done," Grassley says. Grassley made his comments this morning during an appearance on C-SPAN.