A stimulus vote was thought to perhaps come last night, but the Senate adjourned without passing anything "after a day of negotiations by a bipartisan group working to trim from it as much as $100 billion and fashion a compromise lean enough to win the Republican votes necessary for passage," the Boston Globe writes.
The Washington Post: "A bipartisan coalition of senators withheld support for President Obama's economic recovery package yesterday, leaving the scope and timing of his first major initiative in doubt as they sought to cut more than $100 billion from the legislation. Despite growing concerns from Republicans and Democrats about the cost of the plan, senators did not reach agreement on which programs to trim."
The New York Times on the centrist group's work so far: "By early evening, aides said the group had drafted a list of nearly $90 billion in cuts, including $40 billion in aid for states, more than $14 billion for various education programs, $4.1 billion to make federal buildings energy efficient and $1.5 billion for broadband Internet service in rural areas. But they remained short of a deal, and talks were expected to resume Friday morning."
The Hill: "Reid said the Senate will resume amending the bill on Friday morning, and is 'cautiously optimistic' that senators would pass the bill later in the day. If Republicans object to holding the final vote on Friday, Reid said he would file a cloture motion and set up the final vote on Sunday morning."
NBC's Ken Strickland says the big amendment to watch for today is Nelson/Collins, which is expected to cut about $100 billion worth of questionable spending from the bill. But at the moment, the bipartisan group can't agree on what which items get cut. Assuming an agreement can be reached and assuming the amendment passed on the floor, it probably won't drop the price of the bill low enough to attract significant GOP support. (Remember, every House Republican voted against the House version at about $820-B. The Senate version has grown in cost, hovering now at about $920 billion. Nelson/Collins cuts would bring the total cost just where the House bill finished.)
Rank-and-file Republicans, Strick adds, appear to have no hesitation voting against what they consider a pork-laden, high-priced, liberal-leaning, spending -- not stimulus -- bill. As one GOP aide said, Democrats will pass it with a narrow victory, "and then they own it."