US Congress reaches deal on economic stimulusFebruary 12th, 2009 - 3:43 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 12 (DPA) US lawmakers reached a compromise deal Wednesday on a record economic recovery package, which could allow the plan to pass both houses of Congress before the end of the week.
The Senate and House of Representatives ironed out differences in separate versions of the stimulus bill and knocked the total price tag down to $789 billion, including a mixture of tax cuts and government spending projects to pull the US out of its worst recession in decades.
President Barack Obama, who views the stimulus as the cornerstone of his efforts to revive the US economy, continued to urge its quick passage during a visit to a construction site in Springfield, Virginia.
“We’re at the doorstep of getting this plan through the Congress,” Obama said, calling the stimulus package “both urgent and essential to our recovery”.
About 3.6 million jobs have been lost and the unemployment rate has crept to 7.6 percent since the US recession began in December 2007. Obama has promised his stimulus will save or create up to four million new jobs.