The US Senate has passed the much debated 600 billion euro economic stimulus plan of President Barack Obama.
The vote, which was delayed until the return of one Democrat Senator from his mother’s memorial, was eventually 60 to 38 in favour. Despite a week of negotiations and lobbying by the president, only three Republican Senators crossed party lines to back the bill and they had been involved in helping draft and amendment. Earlier the House of Representatives had also approved the plan. Although it was passed easily in the lower house, no Republican there backed it arguing it had too much spending and not enough tax breaks. The package is due to be signed by the president on Monday and represents Obama’s first major legislative victory of his new administration.