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Obama: Stimulus Passage 'A Major Milestone'


U.S. President Barack Obama said he will soon sign into law a $787 billion proposal to boost the nation's economy.

In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama said passage of the recovery bill is a big step toward reviving America's economy.

"I am pleased to say that after a lively debate, full of healthy differences of opinion, we have delivered real and tangible progress for the American people," he said.

Mr. Obama is praising Congress for passing the legislation, which includes tax cuts and domestic spending projects designed to create jobs and boost growth.

"This is a major milestone on our road to recovery, and I want to thank the members of Congress who came together in common purpose to make it happen. Because they did, I will sign this legislation into law shortly, and we will begin making the immediate investments necessary to put people back to work, doing the work America needs done," he said.

The plan passed Congress Friday with almost no Republican support. Only three Republicans in the Senate voted for the bill, and none in the House of Representatives.

In the Republican response, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said her party supports stimulating the economy, but thinks this plan is costly and wasteful.

"Democrats, it seems, settled on a random dollar amount in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars, and then set out to fill the bucket. Republicans, on the other hand, thought that we should figure out what was at the root of the problem and then see how much it would cost to fix," she said.

Murkowski said the plan will create too much debt that will eventually be held by other countries.

The top House Republican, Minority Leader John Boehner, denounced the plan Friday on the House floor.

"I came here to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable federal government. This is the epitome - the epitome - of what I came here to stop!" He said.

Boehner and other Republicans had complained that they did not have enough time to read the entire bill, which is more than 1,000 pages long.

The president could sign the bill in the coming week, less than a month after taking office.
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