Stimulus Bill Showdown

Today is going to be an eventful day in Washington and on Wall Street. President Obama is putting a lot of pressure on the Senate to pass the stimulus bill.

The Democrats are going to hold a procedural vote later today which will gauge how much support they have. This could have a big impact on trading. The president isn’t leaving anything to chance–he’s going to hold a prime-time news conference in an effort to build support for the stimulus plan.

Here’s the problem: Over the weekend, some key senators reached a compromise to take out a lot of spending that was in the House bill and include more tax cuts. (I’ve already mentioned that my area of Florida is due to get a butterfly park!)

That may bring a few Republicans over, but even if the Senate’s bill is passed, they’ll still have to get together with the House to work out a final bill. If there’s a big difference between the two bills, the negotiations could get very ugly. On top of that, the president isn’t happy with the amount of spending that the Senate took out.

The other thing that was to happen to today was that Treasury Secretary Geithner was going to announce his bad bank plan. Since the stimulus bill is taking center stage, that announcement has been put off until tomorrow. The original goal was to have the stimulus bill passed and signed by the President’s Day weekend. There’s a good chance that won’t happen.

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