Political analyst Greg Valliere of the Stanford Group maps out where fiscal stimulus is heading:
Something around $200 billion now seems likely, which would represent close to 1-1/2% of GDP. The final package should pass by mid-February, and rebate checks could be distributed by early April—an amazingly fast process by Washington standards. Democrats will prevail in their insistence that virtually everyone will get a check, not just taxpayers, with bigger checks going to families with children. That could lower the amount of checks sent out per person, but something in the $500-$800 range seems likely.... Since this stimulus bill won't be paid for, lawmakers may load on other provisions that need to be passed this year. Instead of fighting over the annual band-aid on the Alternative Minimum Tax, a fix which keeps millions of families from being indexed into that tax, Congress may pass it now. The research and development tax credit, which wasn't extended last year, also may be included in the package.... The stimulus bill also will include more spending for unemployment insurance, food stamps, housing aid, etc.