This Morning On The Stephanie Miller Show

Top lawmakers and White House officials are cautiously optimistic they can reach a deal on the roughly $800 billion economic stimulus bill as early as today. Negotiators seemed to agree on a top line number of $800 billion, but some Dems have said that number could be even less. Both would be less than either the Senate’s $838 billion bill or the House’s $819 billion package.

Lawmakers from the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing today with the chief executive officers of the eight banks that received the first injections of capital from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Lawmakers want answers as to why the banks have been reluctant to use the $165 billion they’ve received for loans to consumers and businesses.

President Obama will likely make a decision on sending additional troops to Afghanistan “in the course of the next few days,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday.

Police arrested a man near the U.S. Capitol yesterday after he drove up to one of the building’s barricades with a rifle in his vehicle and told officers that he had a delivery for President Obama. The 64-year-old man was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.

An unusual cluster of February tornadoes touched down across Oklahoma yesterday, ripping off roofs, downing power lines, and killing 8 people in the small southern Oklahoma town of Lone Grove.

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