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.
- The 20 Best iPhone/iPad Games of 2013 So Far
- 9 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand (and Your Career)
- 7 Consumer Technologies Coming to an Enterprise Near You
- 11 Signs Your IT Project is Doomed
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
- 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.
- Federal IT Innovation Caught in a Catch-22
- Fed resources shoring up old infrastructure, holding back new technologies.
- Harness IT -- An Introduction to Business Intelligence Solutions
- Learn the key selection criteria required to provide your organization with the capability to address structured data, unstructured data and mobile demands so...
- Business Intelligence Shows its Smarts
- Today's Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide a new way to think about data with self-service capabilities and user-friendly analytics that can be used...
- Proactive Planning for Big Data
- Big data is less about the terabytes and more about the query tools and business intelligence needed to make sense of massive amounts...
- Inquiry Spotlight: Consumer-Facing Identity
- The challenges of consumer-facing identity management, access management, and authentication differ in ways subtle and dramatic from those of the employee-facing variety. All Government IT White Papers
- Becoming An Analytics Driven Organization
- Join us on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT and learn how your agency can create an analytics culture that will enable...
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity. All Government IT Webcasts