|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
President Obama's urgent plea for more spending on the economy ran into the political buzz saw of the Senate on Tuesday, where Democratic leaders began chopping apart an aid package for unemployed workers and state governments in an effort to lessen its impact on the deficit.
The slimmed-down measure was still evolving late Tuesday. But Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) was trying to salvage one of Obama's top priorities -- $24 billion to avert the layoffs of state workers -- by scaling back other pieces of the sprawling package, including a provision to postpone a scheduled pay cut for doctors who see Medicare patients. Instead of postponing the cut until 2012, Reid is considering protecting doctors only through the rest of this year.
Reid also took aim at jobless benefits, which some Democrats complained may be too generous in a time of economic recovery. While the revised package would extend emergency benefits through the end of November, aides said it also would take $25 out of the weekly checks received by 15 million unemployed workers, repealing a payment boost first approved in last year's economic stimulus package.