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Dodd Outlines Senate Plan for Stimulus

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Tuesday that the Senate will likely return for its November lame-duck session to consider an economic stimulus package and other proposals to tighten lending regulations.

In an afternoon press conference, Dodd told reporters that he had just wrapped up a meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and was looking to draft legislation that would protect consumers against predatory lending and prevent future home foreclosures.

The Connecticut Democrat said he was still weighing whether he would attach those provisions to a larger stimulus bill or offer them in separate legislation. Either way, Dodd sent strong signals that Senate Democrats were on board with House Democratic leaders, who want to give the economy another shot in the arm before the end of the year.

“I’m going to try and get this done,” Dodd said. “ I’ll use utilize the lame-duck session as an opportunity to provide it as either as either a separate bill or part of the stimulus package.”

Dodd said that he thought such a stimulus package — which would include unemployment benefits and government funds for infrastructure projects — was needed. But he also said he would like to include additional aid for residential mortgages, student loans and credit card debt.

“My guess is we’ll be back for a lands bill and a stimulus package,” Dodd said, referring to the public lands bill that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated he would like to get to as part of a November lame duck session.

Reid later confirmed that the Senate does plan to add a stimulus measure to the agenda when Members return to Washington next month.

“Sen. Reid tried to pass an economic recovery bill last month, only to be obstructed by Senate Republicans,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. “Recent developments only reinforce the need for additional action to reinvigorate the economy. We will work with the House of Representatives and leave all options open to add the issue.”

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