A massive tax and spending bill intended to stimulate the badly battered economy is a big step closer to President Barack Obama's desk.
With lightning speed, key members of Congress have announced agreement on a $789 billion package designed to create millions of jobs.
The bill includes help for victims of the recession in the form of unemployment benefits, food stamps, health coverage and more, as well as billions for states that face the prospect of making deep cuts in their own programs.
It also preserves Obama's signature tax cut -- a break for millions of lower and middle income taxpayers, including those who don't earn enough to pay income taxes.
Conspicuously absent from the news conference was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It's not clear whether she stayed away out of unhappiness or a scheduling conflict.
A House vote on the measure is possible as early as tomorrow, with the Senate to follow before lawmakers begin a scheduled weeklong vacation.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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