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The price tag of the stimulus bill continues to swell nearing 900 billion dollars but there's at least one Democrat working very hard to strip out the pork.
He started to work on identifying spending that could either be taken out -- shifted to other priorities like fighting foreclosure.
Joining us now from Capitol Hill senator Kent Conrad Democrat from north care that the quote -- -- and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
And also a member of the finance committee senator we're thrilled to have you want captain of the closing bell thanks for being here.
Thank you have a what what we're so happy to talk to because everybody tends to sort of paint Democrats all with one -- and I'm not sure that's a really fair statement considering that you're out there.
Trying to strip a bunch of this out let's talk about what needs to come out from where -- -- sit.
What needs to be come out are things that.
Have less credibility in terms of stimulation of the economy.
Things that have very slow spend out rates that are not temporary.
And that are timely that are not targeted.
And things that don't represent real investment things that just -- -- to the spending tail we will make our budget situation already bad worse.
Even after we recover.
As it stands now could you vote for the stimulus plan.
-- I have said.
For days I would have a very difficult time voting for this plan.
Without significant changes and -- a group of us Republicans and Democrats working together to come up with amendments to offer to our colleagues.
To try to do just that reallocate resources to places of greater need for example housing.
Some of our colleagues are saying just wait -- the -- The problem is that not enough money in the -- to do the fiscal crisis and the housing crisis so I think we need to do it now.
What is the number one thing that needs to be moved off this bill and and do you think when you talk to your brother and overall they.
The Republican side that you guys are sort of mono a mono when it comes to what needs to come out of it.
You know I I think there's a lot of -- -- and it's really a whole series of things that were put in here.
Look I would say much of the package that came over from the house has merit but there's a lot.
That's simply could be substantially improve some of it ought to be dropped altogether.
Okay what does the president say about that have you had his here -- that and when will we see it if we need this thing to go through in some way shape or form.
We don't want it to be -- we know time is of the essence does the president give you some comments about that that look.
This thing does happen to be re written -- Well let me just say I I think I don't wanna violate a confidence.
In talking to the president of the United States but.
Suffice it to say I think it's.
Understood that there are things here that could be improved.
And we've got an open amendment process we've got a chance to do it.
And there -- a group of us Republicans and Democrats working together very hard to put together a package that could actually succeed.
Yeah yeah how about that and quickly of the buy American aspect of this there are some people who look at that as flat out protectionism and that it really doesn't help the situation had -- -- -- -- You know with all of these matters the devil is in the details.
And one of the things we've got to got to know is what are the details.
Of what was put in on the appropriations side so we've got a group reviewing that.
I think I should.
Spare a conclusion and tell.
We've we've got their report.
Senator Conrad you've got to come back as this thing develops were fascinated to hear particularly from your perspective so thank you so much.
You bet senator Kent Conrad of north --
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