Almost two-thirds of the $825 billion economic stimulus package will be spent over the next 19 months, according to revised estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, which buttresses claims by Democrats that the legislation is critical for economic recovery.

CBO director Douglas Elmendorf told members of Congress yesterday that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would provide "massive fiscal stimulus" to help the economy reverse a 12-month recession. The stimulus plan could increase gross domestic product by an additional 1.3% to 3.6% in 2009 and create 800,000 to 2.1 million jobs this year, he said.

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