Pelosi: New stimulus to help middle class

The $150B plan, similar to one rejected by Senate, would help states pay for healthcare, food stamps and unemployment.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Democrats will propose a new stimulus package to "rebuild America" and "help the middle class," Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, announced Monday.

The package will have some of the same features as one passed earlier by the House but rejected by the Senate, she said, including "aid to the states" on healthcare, food stamps and unemployment.

Last week Pelosi estimated the package could cost as much as $150 billion.

Rep. John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who leads his part in the House, criticized the Democrats' plan in a letter to Pelosi Monday.

"Nothing currently being discussed by the majority as 'stimulus' will stabilize the economy long-term," he said, citing press reports about Democratic plans.

"Nothing being discussed will ease the uncompetitive nature of our nation's tax rates. Nothing being discussed will bring a single dollar of private capital into our markets, which would help stabilize and restore American families' savings and retirement accounts. And nothing being discussed will help small businesses compete and thrive."

Pelosi and other top House Democrats met a panel of leading economists Monday morning, including Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, now a Harvard professor.

Allen Sinai of Decision Economics said bluntly the U.S. economy is in recession and the world economy is in recession, but given the Democrats' efforts, things would be better next year.

There has been no official declaration of a recession, but the body that makes such determinations - the National Bureau of Economic Research - usually makes them retroactively, based on broad measures of economic activity. To top of page

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