- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 15, 2009

House Democrats released details of an economic-recovery plan Thursday that would be more expensive but with fewer tax cuts than proposed by President-elect Barack Obama.

The Democrat’s $825 billion package that is intended to jump start the slumping economy would include $550 billion in investment and job creation measures and $275 billion in tax cuts.

Mr. Obama instead has floated a $775 billion plan with $300 billion in tax cuts.

The Democrats’ proposal calls for $500 tax credit for employed Americans and a $1,000 per couple for those earning less than $200,000.

The plan also would provide businesses with tax credits for hiring military veterans and “disconnected youth,” and includes a first-time home buyers tax credit.

Not included in the package is a proposal floated by the president-elect for a $3,000 business tax credit to hire or retain workers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters at a morning press conference that the numbers in the House Democrats’ plan were fluid and could change during committee “markups” next week.

“This is the first step along the way,” the California Democrat said.

The speaker promised to brining the full recovery plan to the House floor for a vote in two weeks.

Mrs. Pelosi said the package would include no earmarks — or special pet projects — a provision Republicans had demanded.

The Democratic proposal also would include:

• $90 billion for a temporary increase in the Medicaid matching rate

• $41 billion for schools

• $32 billion for upgrades to the nation’s energy transmission, distribution, production and storage systems.

• $31 billion for federal and public infrastructure upgrades

• $30 billion for highway construction

• $16 billion for public housing repairs

• $10 billion for science facilities and research

• $6 billion to expand broadband Internet access in rural areas.