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Senate passes stimulus bill

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Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has approved President Barack Obama's giant economic stimulus measure.

Update, TUE 3 PM: The legislation is just one of several powerful government steps that could marshal close to $3 trillion in taxpayer and private money aimed at reviving the collapsing national economy.

Previously: President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan has passed the Senate and is on its way to difficult House-Senate negotiations.

Just three Republicans helped pass the plan on a 61-37 vote, and they're already signaling they'll play hardball to preserve more than $108 billion in spending cuts made last week in Senate dealmaking. Obama wants to restore cuts in funds for school construction jobs and help for cash-starved states.

Those cuts are among the major differences between the $819 billion House version of Obama's plan and a Senate bill costing $838 billion. Obama has warned of a deepening economic crisis if Congress fails to act. He wants a bill completed by the weekend.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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