Reid: Progress Being Made on Stimulus Bill

By Kate Barrett

Feb 6, 2009 11:22am

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Opening the Senate floor this morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said progress is being made with the bipartisan group of senators trying to trim the stimulus bill. Reid said he doesn’t agree with everything the group is proposing, but he respects their effort and thinks they are trying to make the bill better.

"There is a small group of Republicans who are working — try to work — are working to come up with a solution," Reid said. "They have been genuine in their efforts. They have been responsible in their efforts. While I don’t agree with everything they’re trying to do, I agree with the efforts that they’ve made. And we’ve made progress. We’ve made progress since last night. We’ve been in a number of meetings already this morning. We worked into the night last night. And I think that we’re going to be able to work something out. I feel very comfortable that we can do that. If we succeed, Mr. President, there’s going to be a lot of credit to go around. If we fail, there’s going to be a lot of blame to go around. As I’ve said, our entire country will — as I’ve indicated, our entire country will … suffer and the world will suffer; we are the economy that drives the world economy."

"There is no perfect solution to what we’re attempting," he added. "There’s no book we can check out of the library to say, ‘This is what should be done.’ There’s no group of economists we can go to and tell them to prepare a paper in the next couple hours to give us directions what to do. We must do this on our own and we will do this on our own."

Meantime, Republican negotiators this morning were coming and going from Sen. Arlen Specter’s Capitol building office, including Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Mel Martinez, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. George Voinovich and Specter. Democrat Tom Carper was also seen coming and going from the office.

Upon leaving Specter’s office this morning, Collins said she was going upstairs to meet with Reid.

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