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Obama signs stimulus package

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Obama signs stimulus package


US President Barack Obama has signed off his 625 billion euro economic stimulus package hailing it as the most sweeping recovery plan in the country’s history.

Obama has staked his political reputation on the plan, a mixture of tax cuts and spending projects, saying its success could determine his reputation as President:

“We’re putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done in critical areas that have been neglected for too long…work that will begin real and lasting change for generations to come.”

However, claims of bi-partisan backing for the plan have been rubbished.

It has had very little Republican support, only three votes in the Senate – with the critics denouncing it as “disappointing”.

Its hoped the plan will save or create around 3.5 million jobs. The White house says it should take a month for the money to start flowing.

Later today, Obama is also expected to give details of a project to stem home foreclosures and address the housing crisis that originally sparked the global credit crunch.

Meanwhile watchers say concern remains high on the markets over the lack of a clear strategy to rescue the US banking system.

Fixing the banks will be a critical element of any economic recovery by restoring health to the sector and getting credit flowing again.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner omitted key details when unveiling the plan last week, notably how a proposed public-private partnership would absorb so-called “toxic” assets.

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