House, Senate agree on stimulus bill; IT spending plans unclear
Details about changes made in conference were slow to emerge
IDG News Service - Negotiators from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have reached agreement on a $789 billion spending bill intended to improve the U.S. economy.
Several lawmakers announced the agreement Wednesday afternoon, just a day after the Senate had passed its $838 billion version of the stimulus package. The House passed a $819 billion stimulus package in late January.
Lawmakers didn't say immediately what had been cut from both versions of the bill to trim the bill down to $789 billion.
While nearly all congressional Republicans opposed the bill, it was time to act to keep the country from going into a deeper recession, said Sen. Olympia Snowe, from Maine, one of only three Republican lawmakers who voted for the package. "The time has come to bring everyone together" for the good of the U.S. economy, she said during a televised news conference.
Lawmakers said it was important for them to come to a compromise quickly. "Everybody gave up something in the negotiations to advance something bigger for our country and our people," said Se. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, during the news conference.
The compromise package now goes back to the House and Senate for approval. If passed, the package would then be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.
Both versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included several tech-related provisions. It was unclear late Wednesday if these provisions survived the final agreement.
The Senate bill included $4.5 billion to improve the nation's electricity grid so that customers can measure their electricity use through Web sites and, in some cases, sell back extra energy. Supporters of a smart energy grid say that the information made available can help customers cut their energy costs.
The House version of the bill included $11 billion for a smart grid.
The Senate bill also included $3 billion to push forward adoption of health IT, including electronic health records. The House version of the bill included $20 billion for health IT.
The Senate version of the bill included $7.1 billion aimed at rolling out broadband to rural and other underserved areas, compared to $6 billion in the House version. Most of the money in the Senate package would go to grants for broadband providers; the House bill included a mix of grants and tax credits.
The packages also included money for technology upgrades at several U.S. agencies and at U.S. schools. Both bills also included new money for research at several agencies, including the National Science Foundation.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
- Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse
- Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center
- Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper
- Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support... All Government IT White Papers
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- All Government IT Webcasts