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US Senators Reach Tentative Stimulus Compromise

The Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate and several Republicans have reached a compromise on a huge package to help stimulate the battered U.S. economy - even as job losses mount.

Senators announced the deal late Friday, and they say they have enough votes to approve the package in the Senate. The vote is expected in the next few days.

During negotiations, senators reduced the cost of the bill from $937 billion to $780 billion.

Lawmakers said the changes won the support of the small number of moderate Republican senators needed to pass the measure.

In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama praised the two sides for coming together. He called for the plan to be put in motion swiftly to prevent the economic crisis from becoming a national catastrophe.

Many Republicans complained that the previous bill contained too much spending and not enough tax cuts. Republican leaders denounced the compromise measure.

On Friday, Mr. Obama said 3.6 million jobs in the United States have been lost since the recession began. He said the time to act is now, describing what he called an "urgent and growing crisis" that could turn into a "catastrophe."

Any Senate bill that is passed must be reconciled with an earlier version approved by the House of Representatives before being sent to President Obama for his signature.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.