US lawmakers reach stimulus package deal

Friday, February 13, 2009

Politicians from both houses of the United States Congress have reached a consensus over a stimulus package worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The package was bridged between the House of Representatives' version of the stimulus, which was worth US$820 billion, and the Senate's version, which cost $838 billion. The package now costs $789 billion, and devotes resources to tax cuts and spending intended to help revive the faltering US economy.

The House of Representatives' version of the bill was passed without any Republican support, while the Senate's version, which was voted upon on Tuesday, was backed by only three Republican senators.

The stimulus is aimed at giving help to those who have suffered from the recession, in the form of food stamps, health coverage, unemployment benefits, and various other things.

US President Barack Obama hailed the agreement as a "hard-fought compromise".

"I want to thank the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who came together," he said, "with the urgency that this moment demands."

Obama is to sign to bill into law after the revised version of the stimulus is passed by Congress. He has said that he wants the bill on his desk ready to sign by this weekend.

Do you think that the stimulus package will help the economy?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid estimated that the package should introduce three and a half million jobs. More than a third of it is to be devoted to various incentives for middle-class Americans and tax cuts.

Republican politicians, however, still disapprove of the stimulus plan, saying that the package is too costly and will increase the size of the federal government and not create any new jobs.

US stock markets posted modest gains at the end of day following the agreement.

This story has updates
See US Congress passes $787 billion stimulus package