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Bush to Sign Economic Stimulus Plan

President Bush will approve more than $150 billion in tax rebates Monday as part of a plan to stimulate the U.S. economy. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, opposition Democrats say more action is needed to help poorer Americans.

President Bush is accepting Senate changes to a stimulus package he previously agreed to with the House of Representatives.

The White House blocked efforts to extend unemployment benefits but agreed to the Senate adding refunds for older Americans. The plan Mr. Bush signs Monday will give tax rebates of up to $600 per person in more than 100 million American households.

New York Congressman Charles Rangel is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In the Democratic party's radio address, he says the stimulus plan is a good first step, but he wants President Bush to address what Rangel says are underlying weaknesses in the U.S. economy affecting lower and middle class taxpayers.

"We look forward to working with the president in a bipartisan way," he said. "We haven't enjoyed this in the past. But in the last few months of his administration, it gives us an opportunity to work together to avoid people having to say, 'I work everyday. I want my dignity. I want my pride. And I don't want to have the government give me a rebate.'"

In the president's weekly radio address, Mr. Bush called on Senators to move quickly to approve his nominees to important posts in public safety, the economy, and national security, including at the Department of Justice and Federal Reserve Board.

"The Fed decides monetary policy, and it sets key interest rates that have an impact on homeowners and businesses across our country," he said. "Yet the Senate has been delaying three of my nominations to the Fed for nearly nine months. My nominees have valuable experience and skills, and I urge the Senate to confirm them as soon as possible."

Mr. Bush says Senate delays on 28 of his judicial nominees are irresponsible and undermine the cause of justice.

Senate Democrats say the president is unwilling to compromise on nominees they consider extreme. Among those is Steven Bradbury, whose nomination as assistant attorney general is opposed by many Senators, because he signed a series of memos approving harsh CIA interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists.