Senators Hail Stimulus Deal, But GOP Opposition Remains

4793418This afternoon, key senators from both parties announced a deal for a $789 billion economic stimulus bill that could bring the measure, the central component of President Obama's economic package, to a final vote in both chambers within days.

Here's what those involved had to say after the announcement at a press conference at the Capitol.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.: "We hung tough, and it was modified only in the case of absolute necessity."

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.: "This is the right thing to do.... I am very proud of the give and take and how much all of us worked together to produce the legislation...we're showing to the world that the United States government is standing up, is leading."

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine: "[The key is] that every dollar is spent efficiently and effectively and is geared for stimulus."

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn: "Everybody gave something in these negotiations to achieve something bigger for our country and our people."

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.: "It's a jobs bill, and today you might call us the jobs squad."

But the reaction wasn't all positive on the Hill. House Republican leaders, none of whom voted for the original bill in the House two weeks ago, are still against this compromise.

While House Minority Leader John Boehner said that "we're in a serious recession" and "Congress must act now," he also called the deal disappointing, reports CBS News producer Jill Jackson.

"From everything I am hearing about this so-called deal, I'm very disappointed," he said. "Appears they made a bad bill worse by reducing tax provisions for working families and small businesses in favor of more spending… This thing is growing out of control and won't work."

"What is it they are trying to hide by keeping us out?" added Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the chief deputy whip in the GOP caucus. "Our Republican plan is heavier on tax relief for small business... I am concerned that action in conference committee will make things worse."

Brian Montopoli contributed to this report.