Compromise Stimulus Plan Restores Some Social Spending
Feb. 12, 2009, Chronicle of Philanthropy — Details of the agreement between congressional leaders on a compromise economic-stimulus measure are not yet all available, but an initial summary shows that lawmakers restored some social spending that had been cut in the Senate version of the bill.
The compromise, which must still be approved by the full House and Senate, provides $2.1-billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, the amount the House wanted. The Senate had offered $1.05-billion.
It also allocates $1-billion for Community Development Block Grants, which provide money to states for projects including housing and services for people hit by hard economic times. The Senate bill had not included any money in that area.
The new bill would also provide $53.6-billion to a “state fiscal stabilization fund,” designed to provide cash to deficit-plagued states—up from $39-billion offered by the Senate. While most of that money must be spent on public schools, $8.8-billion is set aside for states to devote to other “high-priority needs.”
The new bill will also include spending that had been agreed earlier by both houses, according to the summary, including almost $87-billion to increase the federal share of Medicaid, the health program for poor people that is operated by the states; and $2-billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants, which provide money to states for child-care services.