Congress Passes Economic Stimulus Package

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 60 to 38 Friday night to approve the final version of the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

The action came several hours after the House approved the bill by a vote of 246 to 183 along partisan lines, with seven Democrats voting against, one voting “present,” and no Republicans voting for the package.

The final Senate vote was delayed as Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, was late reaching the chamber coming from his mother’s wake, according to published reports.

Brown’s vote was required for Democrats to achieve the 60-vote margin necessary for passage. Only three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania —  voted for the package.

The bill will now be sent to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law before the end of the President’s Day weekend.

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