The U.S. House of Representatives passed the final version of the federal stimulus package on Friday afternoon. The Senate followed suit later that night. The final dollar amount for this compromise legislation ended up at $787 billion — a little bit lower than the initially discussed $800 billion. Lawmakers also reduced the amount coming to Oregon by about $400 million from the originally projected $2 billion, as they reached an agreement on the legislation.
However, not everyone in the Oregon delegation was on board with the compromise. Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio was the only House member to vote against the bill after voting in favor of the version that passed the house last month. Fellow Democrat Earl Blumenauer supported the latest bill, saying it will bring 44,000 jobs to Oregon.
The reduction in funds for the state is most dramatic in the pool of money that will go to the state government to help plug budget holes over the next two years. The stimulus will still bring about $475 million for Oregon schools and $350 million for our roads. Oregonians will have a shot at additional money available to states in the form of federal grants.
What will the final stimulus bill mean for Oregon? What needs funding that won’t get help from this money? What questions do you have about how this money will be spent?
- Earl Blumenauer: U.S. Congressman representing Oregon’s 3rd District
- Greg Smith: Republican state representative representing Oregon’s 57th district
- Linda Smith: Union president for the Coos Bay chapter of the Oregon School Employees Association
- Dick Thompson: Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s Federal Stimulus Liaison