A small group of moderate senators including Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) reached the deal that appeared to assure Senate passage of an economic stimulus bill yesterday after more than 10 hours of near-constant private meetings.
Specter was in the middle of the action, with many critical talks occurring in his private “hideaway” office on the first floor of the Capitol.
Nobody involved was really happy, but there was a consensus that the group did not want to say no to the president or an anxious nation.
In announcing that a tentative deal had been reached, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) credited Specter and Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) with saving the package.
“But for them we would not be here,” Reid said, yielding the floor to the Gang of Four to detail the agreement.