Real Estate

February 14, 2009

House, Senate approve stimulus

WASHINGTON -- Congress on Friday approved a $787 billion stimulus package that aims to spur millions of jobs through massive investments in energy, transportation, education and health care projects, while reviving social safety-net programs that have been shrinking for nearly three decades.

The bill passed the House 246-183 and the Senate 60-38, both largely along party lines.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law early next week.

The legislation provides a down payment on much of Obama's domestic agenda, including his pledges to upgrade the nation's aging roads, bridges and electricity grid; overhaul health care record keeping; and invest billions in alternative energy research to reverse climate change and wean the country from foreign oil.

Also Friday, major banks said they would freeze home foreclosures for at least three weeks pending the rollout of Obama's housing rescue plan.

The White House said that in a speech Wednesday in Arizona, Obama will outline his much-anticipated plan to spend at least $50 billion to prevent foreclosures.

A number of the banks pledged to wait until March 6 to see how the Obama plan would affect them.

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