"Collapsing bridges, crumbling highways and failing levies have all been in the headlines recently," Boxer said. "So here's the thing, in every crisis there's an opportunity."
According to Boxer, there are 3,000 highway projects worth $18 billion that could be under contract in 90 days, creating 600,000 private sector jobs. But to move that quickly, Congress would have to reconvene after the election and pass a package before President Bush leaves office.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on the phone Wednesday negotiating with the White House.
"And we're just trying to talk about what amount of money they could support and what else they might want in the package," Pelosi said.
Pelosi was not willing to discuss the details of the negotiations, but she and the chairman of the Fed agree the economy needs another stimulus package.
"He didn't use the word jolt, but I will; a jolt that a stimulus would do to help the American people," Pelosi said.
On Capitol Hill Wednesday, the House Committee on Ways and Means heard from the other side. Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford asked who was going to pay for the stimulus.
"If you go ahead with this, the question I think ultimately has to be asked, 'who bails out the bailouter,'" Sanford said.
"I think there's some irony in borrowing more to deal with a problem that was ultimately created by excessive borrowing."
Republicans in Congress may not like the idea of going along with a Democratic proposal, but the consequences of stalling until the end of the year could be politically expensive, ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain said.
"When you have a severe crisis like this, the reputation you acquire during that crisis can stick with you for a generation," Cain said. "So I think they have to be careful about what they do in opposition over the next few months.
For that reason, it is likely a second stimulus package will be passed in a lame duck session of Congress this fall, Cain said.