Federal Lawmakers Fail in Push for Stimulus Bill

The clock kept ticking, and members of various congressional committees kept arguing, and in the end, the vast economic stimulus package was left on the cutting room floor.

The hope was for agreement on various features that would boost spending and put more money into the economy. Favorite provisions of the doomed bill included alternative minimum tax relief; a reduction in the 27% individual marginal tax rate to 25% in 2002; provision for three-year, 30% business expensing; extension of expiring tax credits; rebates for low-income taxpayers; a 60% refundable health care insurance tax credit; and extended unemployment compensation.

The estimated cost was to be $100 billion, according to House Majority Leader Richard K Armey, R-TX. But disagreements over how to help laid-off workers purchase health care insurance and a desire to keep the stimulus effects in the hands of workers and not big business, kept lawmakers arguing until they finally agreed on one thing - there can be no agreement at this time.

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