1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

World

Congress Approves Stimulus, Handing Obama First Victory

US President Barack Obama's economic recovery package cleared its final hurdles on Friday as both houses of Congress approved a $787-billion (610-billion-euro) bill designed to pull the country out of recession.

Montage of the Capitol and a US flag with $790.000.000.000 written on top

The US will inject billions of dollars in the country's stricken economy

The long-awaited passage of the stimulus bill -- the largest single spending proposal in US history -- marked Obama's first major legislative victory since he took office on Jan. 20. The president could sign it into law as early as Monday, the White House said.

But the victory did not come with the bipartisan support his administration had originally hoped for. Obama instead relied on the Democratic Party's majorities in both chambers.

The House of Representatives approved the plan 246-183 on Friday afternoon. Not one member of the House's Republicans supported the measure and seven Democratic congressmen also voted against the bill.

The Senate followed suit Friday evening by 60-38, garnering the support of only three Republicans and just barely meeting the 60-vote threshold. Democrats were forced to extend the voting process by five hours, allowing Democrat Sherrod Brown to fly into Washington from his mother's wake in Ohio and cast the tie-breaking vote.

No bipartisan victory

Members of the US House and Senate applaud at a joint session of Congress

Obama's hope for a bipartisan agreement fell apart

The long-awaited passage of the stimulus bill -- the largest single spending proposal in US history -- marked Obama's first major legislative victory since he took office on Jan. 20. The president could sign it into law as early as Monday, the White House said.

But the victory did not come with the bipartisan support his administration had originally hoped for. Obama instead relied on the Democratic Party's majorities in both chambers.

The House of Representatives approved the plan 246-183 on Friday afternoon. Not one member of the House's Republicans supported the measure and seven Democratic congressmen also voted against the bill.

Most Republicans have vociferously opposed the plan as too large and focused on government spending rather than tax cuts that would better revive the economy.

"We owe it to the American people to get this bill right," said John Boehner, the top Republican in the House of Representatives. "I don't believe this is the way to do it."

Warnings come with cash injection

President Barack Obama

The president warned that there were no quick fixes

Democrats say the compromise version will create or save 3.5 million new jobs over the next two years, and some have complained it is too small to address the country's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. About 3.6 million jobs have been lost since the US entered a recession in December 2007.

Obama, who could sign the bill as early as Monday, warned that the economic crisis was far from over despite the new injection of government funds into the world's largest economy.

"Passing this plan is a critical step," he said. "But it is only the beginning."

Obama has warned Congress that any delay could cost thousands more jobs. But Republicans and some Democrats complained the process was being unnecessarily rushed through the legislature in order to meet a self-imposed deadline of this weekend.

The final text of the more than 1,000-page bill was only released to legislators late Thursday night.

DW recommends