Your tax dollars at work: Different strokes proposed by Dems and GOP

GOP conservatives present rescue alternative

WASHINGTON (AP) - A group of conservative House Republicans is proposing an alternative to the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.

It involves a package of tax breaks and a new government-sponsored insurance program for mortgage-backed securities. Instead of the government buying toxic mortgage securities, this plan would have banks, financial firms and other investors holding them pay premiums to the Treasury to finance the insurance coverage.

Democrats say the idea is unworkable and that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson agrees. The idea behind the plan is that the insurance would give investors enough confidence to buy the illiquid securities and establish a market for them.

The plan emerged after it became clear that House Republicans in large numbers weren't coming around to the Bush administration approach.

Democrats unveil economic stimulus plans

WASHINGTON (AP) - Top Senate Democrats have unveiled a $56 billion plan to stimulate the economy.

It includes proposals to extend unemployment benefits and help states pay for Medicaid.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd released the high-spending measure. A vote could occur as early as today.

With most Republicans opposed, however, the Reid-Byrd stimulus plan measure is likely to stall. Democrats are then expected to hold the vote against Republicans in the campaign for control of Congress.

In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that chamber would probably take up a similarly sized economic stimulus plan as early as today, but no proposal has been released and a vote appears unlikely. Conservative Democrats have qualms about its impact on the budget deficit.

Source: Associated Press