Not so fast: New economic stimulus bill in precarious position

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
A $100 billion stimulus package that contains $37.8 billion in additional Medicaid funding could have been defeated almost the moment it was introduced, according to reports from Washington.

Senate Democrats introduced the bill Monday, with hopes of voting on the measure by today. But pressure from the Republicans, a weakened Treasury secretary, a reluctant House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a still-powerless President-elect Obama are all drags on the stimulus package, The Politico news service reports. Another point of contention is a proposed $25 billion in loans for the auto industry, which also threatens to derail passage of the measure, Politico writes.

Many healthcare lobbying groups, including the nation's two largest nursing home associations and AARP, have petitioned the government to include the additional Medicaid funds in any stimulus package. And while funding was included in the measure, those close to the process predict that conflicts between lawmakers could push back passage of the bill until at least January.