Liberal Lawmakers Want $1 Trillion Stimulus

Posted December 16, 2008 at 3:54pm

The House Progressive Caucus is pushing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to back a $1 trillion, two-year stimulus package aimed at low- and middle-income Americans — about double the amount Pelosi has publicly contemplated.

The liberal-leaning bloc of House Democrats sent a letter to Pelosi Monday with their $1 trillion request, and plan to follow up with specific policy proposals next week, according to a copy obtained by Roll Call.

“If many of the titans of America’s financial, insurance and auto industries are to be bailed out by American taxpayers to the tune of $800 billion or more, it is imperative that hard-working and impoverished Americans also receive federal help,” the Progressive Caucus wrote.

“This may be our only bite at the apple.”

Pelosi already is being pulled in different directions on the stimulus proposal. Blue Dog fiscal conservative Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and New Democrat Ron Kind (Wis.) on Monday asked that a fiscal commission be part of the stimulus package, citing the exploding long-term national debt and the need to slow the growth of entitlement programs.

Pelosi herself has spoken about balancing the needs of the economy against the buildup of the nation’s long-term debt.

Her spokesman said Tuesday that all of the Progressive Caucus’ ideas would be considered. The liberal group is the largest organized faction in the Democratic Caucus, counting 73 House lawmakers in its ranks.

“Members of the Democratic Caucus are committed to passing an economic recovery and job creation package, and there are many ideas about the size and scope of such a package from Members and they will all be discussed,” Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said.