US senators have agreed a large stimulus package aimed at kick-starting the US economy.
After intense negotiations, the Senate backed a plan mixed with spending and tax cuts worth 600 billion euros. With disagreement between Democrats and Republicans over how federal money would be spent, the deal is a compromise and less than the 700 billion euros sought by President Obama. Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer said: “You know, it’s easy to quibble over details, but when you hear that 596,000 jobs were lost in one month, the time is to act. The time is to move. The time is to create jobs, not have partisan fighting, and that is what we did here today.” With the US in the grip of its worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the president had been desperate for the package to pass. Latest job figures show the biggest monthly increase in unemployment for 35 years. Some 600,000 US workers lost their jobs in January alone. With the package agreed, leaders in Washington will now be praying the stimulus can revitalise the US economy.