The Senate is currently voting on proposed amendments to the economic stimulus bill. The one amendment everyone has their eye on is an offering from centrist senators Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that could cut as much as $100 billion in spending, including a large chuck of green funding.
TPM has a draft of the proposed cuts. Some highlights for the Grist audience:
- $1 billion cut to the money for renewable energy and efficiency going to the Department of Energy, bringing total stimulus amount to $1.6 billion.
- Nearly half of the $9.5 billion for energy technology loan guarantees would be sliced, along with $590 million in cuts to other water and energy projects.
- $5.5 billion for the surface transportation grant program (which could be used for mass transit programs) would be eliminated.
- $400 million designated for climate change research, which was the subject of derision by House Republicans last week.
- Completely cut $100 million for Pentagon spending on alternative vehicle technology.
- $427 million cut from NOAA, bringing total stimulus amount to around $800 million.
The Nelson-Collins plan is an effort to bring Republicans and some skeptical Democrats on board with the stimulus package. Specific cuts are still in flux; it’s possible that they could change significantly before a final vote.
“Legislation is the art of compromise,” said Majority Leader Harry Reid on the floor Thursday night. “That’s where we are … I would hope that in the next 12 hours we can have a piece of legislation that we agree on.”