A prominent Senate Democrat said that he would add rebates for senior citizens who depend on Social Security to the economic stimulus package, along with an extension of unemployment benefits.
The $156 billion proposal by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., would supplement the original $150 billion package agreed to by the White House and House leaders last week. The White House has urged lawmakers not to add to the originally agreed-to package to speed passage of the bill, however.
"My proposal will give America's seniors the same rebate as any wage earner," said Baucus, according to the Associated Press. "The White House says we mustn't slow the economic stimulus agreement down, or blow it up. I agree. We're going to improve it and get it passed right away."
The Senate plan would end up shrinking tax rebates for individuals available under the original plan to $500 from $600, or $1,000 for married couples as opposed to $1,200. Under both plans, families would receive an additional $300 per child.
The plan also provides for a 13-week extension in unemployment benefits in most states, and 26 weeks in states where unemployment is greater than 6 percent.