Barack Obama has hailed the passing of an economic stimulus package worth around 600 billion euros as a “major milestone” on America’s road to recovery.The US president is expected to sign the bill as early as next week. He said: “Congress has passed my economic recovery plan – an ambitious plan at a time we badly need it. It will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, ignite spending by business and consumers alike and lay a new foundation for our lasting economic growth and prosperity. “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.” The bill was passed by politicians largely along party lines, despite Obama’s early bipartisan goals. The Senate passed the measure 60 votes to 38, with three Republican moderates providing crucial support. Obama’s much touted tax break for middle and working-class Americans survived but was scaled down.