Economic stimulus debate continues

February 8, 2009 5:51:40 PM PST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was back in San Francisco Sunday. She said she is confident there will be a compromise but she is just not sure when it will happen.

Pelosi said Sunday that legislators might be working through next week's Presidents Day holiday to reach a deal on President Barack Obama's stimulus plan.

"The normal process is the House does their bill. The Senate does their bill. We'll come to some sort of agreement on the legislation. But, it's just unfortunate that in doing so we have to reduce the number of jobs in the name of bi-partisanship," Pelosi said.

She was in San Francisco to serve to lunch to some of the city's neediest residents, marking the 35th millionth meal served at the St. Anthony Foundation.

Right now it is getting the President's economic package passed that is on her plate.

The sticking point is that the Senate's bill eliminates $40 billion in aid for state and local governments from the massive spending and tax cut plan passed by the House.

"We'll see what their bill is. I would hope that we would be able to get more of the school construction and the aid to the state for education, health care and public safety," she said.

"It is so filled with pork and things that will not stimulate the economy it's prudent not to vote for it," said Republican Howard Epstein, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party.

Epstein is less optimistic about a compromise.

"I see it using the language of bipartisanship but not actually being bipartisan," he said.

Others are still hoping.

Out of work electrician Carl Payne of Menlo Park is among the unemployed who could be helped by Washington's stimulus plan.

"I can't bring my resume to this particular job because they're going to say I'm over qualified. The only reason I'm dressed in a suit right now is because I just got out of church," he explained.

There are countless others just like him. Hundreds showed up Sunday for a job fair in Menlo Park, one of several being held around the Bay Area.

Victor Costa has a graphic design degree and he is desperate for work.

When asked if he was willing to any type of work at an area hotel he replied, "I am. Pretty much. Clean the toilets. Whatever."

Speaker Pelosi said there are some areas where House democrats may not be willing to compromise, especially when it comes to education and jobs. And, while she did stress a bi-partisan push in Washington to get this stimulus package passed, she also repeatedly blamed the economic crisis on the Bush administration.