House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has increased the size of the economic stimulus package she will support when Congress reconvenes next month, saying it will need to be $500 billion to $600 billion.
That’s up from the $400 billion to $500 billion that House Democrats had been expecting. Pelosi gave the figure during an interview with Al Hunt of Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt.”
“This week we had our most recent presentations from economists to tell us what – how robust such a package should be in order to have an impact on the economy, to turn the economy around,” Pelosi said. “Economists told us that the package had to be strong enough, half a trillion, $600 billion, somewhere near that.”
Pelosi said the package would not be like “a 1930s public works project” but instead would have such modern components as broader access to quick Internet connections and greener forms of energy. She echoed the number of jobs and the components that President-elect Obama unveiled just before Thanksgiving.
“The key number is 2.5 million jobs in the next few years that we want this package to stimulate,” Pelosi said. “I hear people say, ‘Oh, they want a 1930s public works project.’ No. Certainly we will have public works projects in it, but it’s about broadband for all Americans. It’s about a smart, modern grid to be able to transmit the new, renewable energy – wind, solar, biofuels and the rest. It’s about a very modern approach to building the infrastructure of America.”