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US Congress votes in biggest tax rebate in history

 US Congress votes in biggest tax rebate in history
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In the US, the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan plan to give the economy a 98 billion euro election year boost. Approval of the stimulus package in the House shifts the focus to the Senate, where Democrats have proposed adding an extra six point seven billion euros to the plan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “I myself, as Speaker of the House, would like to call upon the Senate to take up our legislation and to pass it quickly. It is essential to the relief of some of the hardship that America’s families are feeling. Many Americans in the middle class are living paycheck to paycheck.”

The Senate Finance committee will to meet today to discuss the plan, which is backed by President Bush. Any subsequent changes would mean further negotiations with the House and a possible delay in implementing the legislation.

Meanwhile, the FBI has begun criminal investigations into 14 unidentified corporations as part of a crackdown on improper subprime lending.

The investigations involve potential violations, including accounting fraud and insider trading.

But the probes reached across the industry to include developers, lenders, loan companies and investment banks.