Congress approved the $787 billion economic stimulus bill Friday night by a vote of 60-38, after much debate and compromise that saw the final sum, as well as all of its parts, shift up and down several times in a matter of days. It wasn't really much of a compromise, of course, because that word suggests two side working together to reach common agreement, but this was purely Democrats vs. Republicans.
In any case, the figure for broadband stimulus funds was about $7.2 billion, at least a few hundred million higher than several reports had suggested earlier last week. The money will be split and directed toward projects benefitting underserved and rural markets. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, overseen by the Department of Commerce, will distribute$4.7 billion, while the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service will deliver $2.5 billion.
The amount of money and the choice of administrators are among points being criticized, but at this point all that remains is President Obama's signature, which is expected early this week.
The San Francisco Chronicle has this report
Broadband stimlus debate left numbers fluctuating
The Senate planned to cut operator tax breaks from the bill