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Crunch week for Obama stimulus plan

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Crunch week for Obama stimulus plan
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While President Obama is certainly gearing up for talks with Iran in the coming months, it is the economy that is taking up most of his first 100 days in office.

Now the final barriers to approval of his stimulus package appear to have been breached and not before time, he said: “At this particular moment with the private sector so weakened by this recession the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt the economy back into life. This is not an ordinary run-of-the-mill recession. We are going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

Tonight the Senate will finally vote on the stimulus package, after last night’s vote-closing debate and all amendments got a 61 to 36 majority, mainly thanks to three moderate Republican senators who broke ranks and supported the package.

It cannot come quickly enough. Job centres are struggling to cope with a huge influx of the unemployed and entire sectors of the economy, like the carmakers, are facing extinction. As Obama said in Elkhart, Indiana last night the unemployment rate there had ballooned from just under five percent to over 15 in a year. The plan seeks to avoid that happening nationwide.