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US Congress to Vote on Final Stimulus Plan


The U.S. Congress may vote as early as Thursday on a $789 billion economic stimulus package aimed at jolting the nation's economy with a mix of federal spending and tax cuts.

The compromise deal could go before the full House of Representatives for a vote Thursday and before the full Senate shortly after that.

Congressional leaders said they expect a final bill to be ready for U.S. President Barack Obama's signature next week.

Mr. Obama is continuing his public campaign to ensure a bill gets to his desk quickly. He travels Thursday to the central state of Illinois, where he will speak to workers at a plant owned by the Caterpillar company, which has recently announced plans to cut 20,000 jobs. Mr. Obama says the stimulus plan could immediately save jobs at Caterpillar, and also create about 3.5 million jobs across the country.

The compromise plan includes $282 billion in tax relief, more than $50 billion in aid to states, and billions more for investments in health care, education, energy and infrastructure projects.

President Obama said he is grateful to lawmakers for moving quickly and said the state of the nation's economy requires urgent action.

Mr. Obama had hoped to get bipartisan support for the plan, but only three moderate Senate Republicans in the Democratic-controlled Congress took part in the negotiations for the compromise bill. One of those, Republican Susan Collins, called the bill "fiscally responsible." On the House side, Republican minority leader John Boehner said the measure should have more tax cuts and less government spending.

House and Senate negotiators had been in intense discussions to reach a compromise because the two bodies passed differing versions of the stimulus package.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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