WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., urged lawmakers Saturday to revive a spirit of bipartisanship when the Senate considers an economic stimulus package to jolt the sagging economy.
A companion bill that passed the House, 216-214, on Wednesday was divided largely along party lines, a departure from the congressional unity on other matters since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
"It is not acceptable for either party merely to dust off pre-Sept. 11 agendas and re-label them as economic stimulus," Daschle said in the weekly Democratic radio address. "Our economic health is too important to fall victim to politics or ideology."
The $100 billion economic stimulus package passed by the Republican-run House and composed almost entirely of tax cuts is likely to undergo significant change in the Democratic-led Senate, where far greater support exists for additional spending and far less for cuts in business taxes.
Senate Democrats have said they would continue pushing a $90 billion package including more aid to the unemployed, health insurance assistance, and more spending on homeland security items than the House bill included.
"Any economic stimulus package must be temporary, truly effective and fiscally responsible so as not to threaten long-term economic prosperity," Daschle said.
The Senate recessed Thursday until Tuesday without taking any concrete action on the bill.
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