Sen. Whitehouse: Second stimulus 'probably needed'

A second stimulus bill is "probably needed," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) argued Monday.

Going further than some fellow Democrats -- including Vice President Biden -- who haven't ruled out a second stimulus, Whitehouse said that such a package is "on the table."

"We may very well need to do a second stimulus," Whitehouse said during an appearance on ABC's "Top Line" webcast Monday afternoon. "I think that it is probably needed."

"We're going to need to have some further discussion, probably before the end of the year," he added, saying the Congress would need to look at the economic indicators at that time.

Asked yesterday whether a second stimulus was necessary, Biden said "it's premature to make that judgment."

But some Democratic leaders in Congress have nixed the suggestion of a second stimulus.

"I don't think anybody can honestly say that we're satisfied with the results so far of the stimulus," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Fox News Sunday this past weekend. But Hoyer said that it's too soon to have a second bill.

"We have to get the money that is already in the stimulus bill out, and we're looking at that," he said. "We certainly want to see how this develops over the next few months."

On healthcare, Whitehouse also seemed skeptical that the Senate would meet its self-imposed August recess deadline to pass a healthcare reform bill.

"I think it's going to take a lot of work to do that, but I'm a long way from ruling it out," he said of doing that, adding that it is still the intention of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Obama to have a healthcare vote before Congress breaks for recess.