15 Feb 2009

US Senate approves stimulus package

12:34 pm on 15 February 2009

The US Senate on Friday approved a $US787 billion stimulus plan of spending and tax cuts to boost the ailing economy.

The Senate voted 60-38 for the compromise bill on the same day the House of Representatives also passed it by 246-183.

No Republicans voted in support of the bill.

The final package includes $US507 billion in spending and money for social programmes like Medicaid as well as $US282 billion in tax cuts.

It also includes almost $US54 billion to help states with their budget deficits and to modernize schools, $US27.5 billion for highway projects, $US8.4 billion for public transportation and $US9.3 billion for Amtrak and high-speed rail services.

The BBC reports the House approved an $US825 billion version last week without any Republican support.

The Senate voted to approve a different $US838 billion version on Tuesday, with few Republicans opting to back it.

The two versions had to be reconciled in a joint House-Senate committee before facing final votes in the two chambers.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the into law this weekend.