Senate Could Vote On Stimulus Thursday

The Senate neared a vote on Thursday on a huge economic rescue package of tax cuts and new spending sought by President Barack Obama, with moderate senators saying the final bill should be around $800 billion.

The group of moderate Democrats and Republicans, seeking to bolster bipartisan support for a compromise, agreed the package should be cut from some $900 billion after Republicans argued it was too high and included non-essential projects.

By Thomas Ferraro and Donna Smith

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said he believed had enough support to pass the package and a vote to approve it, which would be major political victory for Obama in his second week in office, could be held later on Thursday.

“We hope to have the vote today,” Reid told reporters. “Do we have the votes? We believe we do. We believe we can find two Republicans of good will” to back the plan, and, with Democrats, avoid a Republican procedural roadblock, Reid said.

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