The Senate has passed its version of the stimulus bill. After the Democrats secured the votes, Senator Charles Shumer asked Republicans to acknowledge the economic crisis, and "that they actually lost the election.”
The bill passed by a 61 to 37 vote margin. Three Republican senators did cross party lines to vote for the bill, including: Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Olympia Snowe (pictured here), and Susan Collins of Maine. Independents make up the largest majority of voters in Maine, a state that has been hit hard with job loss.
The Senate bill must now be reconciled with the House version that had more aid for states and local governments, along with fewer tax cuts. After the House-Senate conference committee comes up with a compromise bill, the debate and voting will happen again in both chambers.
Meanwhile, President Obama is holding a town hall meeting in Ft. Myers, FL. If you need a recap — positive spin included — the White House Blog is live blogging. Woah!