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Obama will sign stimulus bill tomorrow

UNITED States President Barack Obama will sign the newly passed US$787 billion economic stimulus package tomorrow in Denver, Colorado.

The measure, aimed at combating the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, marks Obama's first major victory in Congress in less than a month after taking office. Obama described the bill's passage as a "major milestone on our road to recovery."

Speaking in his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said, "I will sign this legislation into law shortly, and we'll begin making the immediate investments necessary to put people back to work doing the work America needs done."

At the same time, he cautioned, "The problems that led us into this crisis are deep and widespread, and our response must be equal to the task."

The bill passed on Friday with law makers largely voting along party lines. The Senate approved the measure 60-38 with three Republican moderates providing crucial support. Hours earlier, the House vote was 246-183, with all Republicans opposed to the package of tax cuts and federal spending that Obama has made the centerpiece of his plan for economic recovery.

Obama "now has a bill to sign that will create millions of good-paying jobs and help families and businesses stay afloat financially," said Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat who was a leading architect of the measure.

"It will shore up our schools and roads and bridges, and infuse cash into new sectors like green energy and technology that will sustain our economy for the long term," he added in a statement.

Despite Obama's early bipartisan goals, Republican opposition was nearly unanimous to vast package. Conservatives in both houses have been relentless critics, arguing the plan is filled with wasteful spending and that greater tax cuts would be more effective in creating jobs.


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