After a week of political maneuvering and a last-minute compromise amendment that cut $108 billion from the Senate package, the Senate passed the $833 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by a vote of 61-37. All 56 Democrats, 2 Independents and 3 Republicans voted in favor of the package.
Senators Inouye (D-HI), Max Baucus (D-MT) Harry Reid (D-NV) Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) were appointed as Senate conferees. As soon as House conferees are appointed, conferees will begin what is expected to be difficult negotiations to iron out major differences between the House and Senate bills. President Obama has already stated that some of the cuts from the Senate package need to be restored during negotiations with the House. The goal is to pass the bill in both chambers and send it to President Obama before leaving for a scheduled Presidents Day recess at the end of the week. Today, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid said Congress will not adjourn until a compromise between the House and Senate is reached.
We will put out an alert as soon as House conferees are appointed. Additionally, we will post information on contacting your representatives and senators in an effort to restore the library provisions removed from the bill in the Senate and protect the library provisions in both the House and Senate bills.
Melanie Anderson, Associate Director
ALA Office of Government Relations