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Congress Approves Stimulus, Three Banks Agree To Stop Foreclosures

UPDATED Saturday, 1 p.m.

Senate votes, approves bill Friday night.

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With a 246-183 vote along party lines, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $787.2 billion economic recovery package Friday morning.

The Senate passed the stimulus bill with a 60-38 vote Friday night. According to CNN, spending in the package includes about $120 billion for infrastructure, such as new projects repairing bridges, roads, government buildings, more than $100 billion for education and $30 billion on energy-related projects that President Barack Obama says will create "green jobs."

More than $212 billion goes to tax breaks for individuals and businesses, and another $267 billion is in direct spending like food stamps and unemployment benefits. Most individuals will get a $400 tax credit, and couples will get $800. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the plan will create between 1 million and 3 million jobs.

No House Republicans voted for the stimulus, which was put together by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a small Democratic committee. In the Senate, only three Republican senators approved the package.

Claiming that the package was crafted without any Republican input, several representatives, including local Congressman Buck McKeon, issued a statement outlining their disapproval of the process.

“The single most important thing we could do for struggling American families would be to pass a fast-acting economic stimulus package that would protect existing jobs while creating new ones. Unfortunately, the spending package crafted in haste, and in secret, by congressional Democrats fails to focus on this central goal,” McKeon said.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law on Monday. 

In an unrelated announcement, three big banks announced they have imposed a moratorium on foreclosures. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Inc. and Bank of America have said they will not foreclose on any owner-occupied homes until the details of TARP and stimulus funding have been worked out.