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Pelosi dampens stimulus hopes

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly news conference on Thursday.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly news conference on Thursday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that a second economic stimulus package is not “in the cards” in the short term, disappointing those seeking another quick infusion of federal dollars into the struggling economy.

Pelosi’s statement came less than a month after President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus measure into law and on the same day the Obama administration warned state officials gathered in Washington that it would keep a close eye on how they spend the money allotted to them from that package.

Pelosi herself helped nudge the idea of another stimulus Tuesday when she said that Congress should “keep the door open” to the possibility.

But Democratic aides have cautioned strongly that another stimulus is not a serious possibility in the short term, and Pelosi said Thursday that she “really would like to see this stimulus package play out” before contemplating another one.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

Chopper ditches; 16 still missing

Canadian rescuers searched freezing waters for 16 missing people Thursday after a helicopter heading to Atlantic oil fields reported mechanical problems and ditched in the sea off Newfoundland.

Of the 18 people aboard, one man was rescued and one body was recovered. Officials said the others were missing about 30 miles out to sea.

There were no signs of more survivors hours after the early morning accident, but rescuers were holding out hope since those aboard were believed to be wearing survival suits, which serve as life preservers and retain body warmth in frigid waters.


Waters’ role in bailout scrutinized

Rep. Maxine Waters, one of Los Angeles’ most enduring liberal politicians, has come under scrutiny because of bailout funds that went to a bank in which her husband had owned stock and served on the bank board.

Waters was a senior member of the congressional committee dealing with the financial crisis at the time that OneUnited Bank, one of the nation’s largest minority-owned institutions, received $12 million in bailout funds.

Her husband, Sidney Williams, served on the bank board until early last year and held at least $500,000 in investments in the bank in 2007, the most recent year for which public financial disclosure statements are available.

A month before Congress enacted the bailout program, Waters helped set up a meeting between the chief executive of the bank, representatives of other financial institutions and Treasury officials.

From wire reports

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