Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday afternoon announced that congressional negotiators had finalized a deal on the economic stimulus package. The $789 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains an estimated $70 billion in funding for clean energy, energy efficiency, and public transportation, according to reports from the Hill.
Well, maybe. There still seems to be some tension with House leaders, who wanted a stronger package. Assuming the deal sticks, the bill will now have to get final approval from both the House and Senate, and then will go to President Obama’s desk for his signature.
The dollar figure on green spending is exactly halfway between the House and Senate versions — the House had approved $72 billion, the Senate $68 billion. The House’s version of the bill had been the greener of the two, according to a study by the consulting firm ICF International, commissioned by Greenpeace. Obama’s original stimulus proposal had been greener still.
We’ll report on the green specifics of the deal as they become available.