From NBC's Mike Viqueira
House and Senate leaders are hoping to have the stimulus conference report settled within 24 hours, according to several House Democratic aides.
The points of negotiation, in their view, are as follows:
-- The $15,000 homebuyer credit attached in the Senate. It had a Republican sponsor, Sen. Johnny Isakson, who doesn't support the final product. So why keep it in? With this and other measures that logically could go to make room for some of the things below, it obviously depends on how each of the three Republicans -- Collins, Snowe, and Specter -- feel about it.
-- A provision concerning deductible interest on car loans that was put forward by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) in the Senate. As with the Isakson measure, Dems reason that this is a poorly targeted provision that can be jettisoned in favor of other priorities.
-- The cut in aid to the states in Collins/Nelson from $79 billion to $39 billion. House Dems want some of that money restored.
-- The House version had $14 billion in school construction funds. The Nelson/Collins version has zero. House Dems are plenty sore about it.
-- The Medicaid allocation formula. The Senate version divides the money evenly, so that high population states like California get the same amount as sparsely populated states like Wyoming. This is a classic House-Senate disagreement.
-- The yearly AMT "fix." This wasn't in the House bill, but it is in the Senate version -- at a price of $70 billion. Its biggest champion in the Senate is Chuck Grassley, who voted "no" on the final bill. Dems will end up doing the fix this year, as they do every year. But they don't want to do it in this bill.