Congress won't meet its original Jan. 20 deadline for passing a massive economic stimulus bill, but the legislation should be ready by mid February, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Sunday morning.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Hoyer (D-Md.) said there's just not enough time to write, review and have proper debate on the $700 billion to $800 billion stimulus between now and Inauguration. Democratic leaders had been aiming to have the economic recovery bill on President Obama's desk by Jan. 20, but Hoyer said "that’s probably going to slip. We want to do this right, we want to make sure this accomplishes the objective."
Hoyer also said he would work with Republicans to prevent earmarks in the stimulus, and said he favored public hearings and debate on the economic legislation. Republicans are concerned that Democrats, in a rush to deliver a major economic bill to the new president, would bypass normal procedures on legislation.
"It’s going to difficult to get the package together that early [Jan. 20]," Hoyer told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. The goal is to "have it to the president before we break before the presidential break" in mid-February.
Hoyer would not commit to a specific dollar figure on the package.