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Senate Approves Stimulus Bill

The U.S. Senate voted 61-to-37 to approve an $838 billion stimulus package on Tuesday. Dissension over the bill fell largely along party lines.
Next come negotiations with the House, who approved their own version of the stimulus in late January, with an $820 billion price tag. When asked about the timetable to devise a bill agreeable to both chambers, ""Sen. Harry Reid"":http://reid.senate.gov/ (D-Nevada) said he expected ""a lot of work [to be] done in the first 24 hours."" ""House Speaker Nancy Pelosi"":http://www.house.gov/pelosi/ (D-California) was more conservative in her assessment, saying she hoped to send a final bill to the president by the end of the week.
Although there are differences between the two bills approved by each legislative body that have to be worked out, the general scope of the overall stimulus effort covers a broad spectrum, encompassing tax cuts for individuals, families, and businesses; assistance for the unemployed and low-income Americans; financial aid for states; and increased spending on healthcare, education, energy, and technology.
President Barack Obama has taken to the pavement drumming up support for Congressional approval of the stimulus package this week. On Monday, the president held a town meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, and on Tuesday, he traveled to Fort Myers, Florida, appearing alongside Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. According to a _""New York Times"":http://www.nytimes.com_ report, President Obama will likely have a strong voice in negotiations between the House and Senate.