Health research among the issues as Senate weighs stimulus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health research among the issues as Senate weighs stimulus

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WASHINGTON (KWWL) - Funding for health research is the focus of one battle, as lawmakers continue to thrash their way through an economic stimulus package Tuesday that has grown to nearly $900 billion.

One version cleared the House last week, and another plan is working its way through the Senate. Many lawmakers are trying to eliminate programs they say would not have an immediate payoff in the form of new jobs.

Among those is a proposal to boost health research. Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson wants to eliminate it. But Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter favors another $6.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health.

Some senators are pushing for more spending on highway and mass transit funding as a quicker way to get a cash infusion into the economy. One of their proposals calls for another $5 billion for mass transit and $7 billion for water projects.

Republicans are pressing for a vote this week on a proposal to bring down the cost of mortgages.

Online Executive Producer Nate Leding

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