Economic Stimulus Bill Makes Headway

The $825 billion stimulus bill — championed by the Obama administration — made its way Tuesday through the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, where the Committee approved a $365 billion portion of the bill. President Barack Obama has been urging lawmakers for a speedy passage of the bill. Congress must not delay in efforts to restart the economy and put people back to work he told a group of business leaders Tuesday. “The workers who are returning home to tell their husbands and wives and children that they no longer have a job, and all those who live in fear that theirs will be the next job cut — they need help now,” Obama said, according to the Washington Post. “They are looking to Washington for action, bold and swift.” The administration said most of the money that would be invested in the stimulus plan would “get out the door immediately,” and go directly to job-creation. A tax-cut component of the bill was still being worked out by the Senate Finance Committee according to a Reuters report. As the Committee approved the bill in a 21-9 vote, sending it to the full Senate for consideration, Obama met on Capitol Hill with Republicans that have pushed more tax cuts and less spending, hoping to broaden support of the stimulus, and suggesting he’s open to compromise. The Senate is expected to debate the bill this weekend. The House Appropriations Committee passed similar legislation last week, and could pass its version of the bill as early as Wednesday. In a press release Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee said the Senate will “work closely with the House of Representatives and the Obama administration in a bi-partisan effort to enact strong and responsible legislation that will put our economy on the road to recovery.” Write to Kelly Curran at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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