Social Security News  provides a nice summary of the SSA provisions in the Senate’s economic recovery plan.    

“Senate compromise on the Obama economic stimulus package (see lines 461-464) does not change the amount going to the Social Security Administration from the bill that was reported to the Senate floor. The amount is still $893 million with $750 million going towards building a new National Computer Center (which will be several years into the future),$140 million going to other information technology projects at Social Security and $3 million to Social Security's Inspector General. The bill that passed the House contained $400 million for the National Computer Center, $500 million for reducing backlogs at Social Security and $2 million for the Inspector General.”

The Senate version also provides $17 billion for one-time payments of $300 to Social Security recipients, poor people on Supplemental Security Income and veterans receiving disability and pensions. However, the House does not provide stimulus to all those who receive Social Security.  They have targeted $4 billion to provide a one-time additional Supplemental Security Income payment to poor elderly and disabled people of $450 for individuals and $630 for married couples.  


There are many key differences between the House and Senate economic recovery plans and by all accounts, this is likely to be a difficult conference.  According to the Washington Post 

“Staff from both chambers have begun discussing the differences between the two bills, but the principals have not been in the same room since the most dramatic changes were made. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) spoke by phone with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday while Pelosi was leading a three-day retreat for her caucus in Williamsburg. Aides declined to detail the conversation, but it came a day after Pelosi suggested that the Senate cuts in spending, which Reid endorsed, would do "violence" to struggling families.”

Here is the Associated Press summary of the key differences between the Senate and House versions of the economic recovery legislation.  The following Senators will serve on the conference committee:  Inouye (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Reid (D-NV), Grassley (R-IA), and Cochran (R-TN) .

We expect to hear who are the House conferees later today and members say they hope to meet right away in an attempt to meet their self-imposed President’s Day deadline.