Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Wednesday said he was "optimistic" that an economic stimulus package would pass Congress, but urged Senate Democrats to act quickly to approve a simple package already signed off on by their House colleagues.
Paulson worked on a compromise package with House leaders, who on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a $146 billion stimulus package that includes personal income tax rebates and business incentives intended to spur spending. The Senate, however, is considering changes to the bill that could ultimately sink it.
"If the process bogs down, the American people will lose patience and we will also lose the momentum that's absolutely needed for quick action and quick results," Paulson said at the Real Estate Roundtable lunch in Washington, D.C. "House leaders carefully crafted a balanced agreement. They recognized that a simple plan offered the most expedient and effective path. I am confident Senate leaders will see the wisdom of this approach, and I don't believe the Senate has any interest in derailing the cooperation and speed with which Washington has acted so far."
The House bill calls for individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000 to earn rebates of as much as $600 and $1,200, respectively. Taxpayers additionally will receive $300 a child.
It also raises the limit for so-called conforming mortgages that government sponsored entities
may purchase. The Senate has mulled dropping that provision and adding another that extends unemployment benefits.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.