U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are playing key roles as the Senate struggles to fashion an economic stimulus package that enjoys bipartisan support.
The two Maine Republicans, moderates with a willingness to work with Democrats, are deeply involved in negotiations to shape a bill that blends tax cuts and targeted spending.
They will meet with President Obama in the White House today as part of a group of senators summoned to discuss the stimulus. Both agree that a stimulus is needed, but both have expressed concerns about the $819 billion bill passed by the House last week.
Snowe and Collins said the House bill, and the $885 billion Senate version drafted by Democratic leaders, include spending provisions that would not boost the economy. They said they wanted to see a more streamlined, amended proposal with spending targeted to quick economic benefits.
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