Senate passes stimulus bill

Both houses of Congress have now approved the package, but more trouble may still lie ahead.

By Alex Koppelman

Published February 10, 2009 5:50PM (EST)

As expected, the Senate has just passed the compromise stimulus package some of its more moderate members agreed to last week.

The tally looked just like the one from Monday's cloture vote, with 61 senators in favor and 37 opposed. (Republican Sen. John  Cornyn, who skipped the previous vote, was a "no" today.) Three Republicans -- Maine's Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter -- crossed the aisle to join their Democratic colleagues in supporting the bill.

Still, the most difficult part of the process involved in getting the package to the president's desk by the deadline he's set may still lie ahead. Representatives from both the House and the Senate will now meet to negotiate a compromise between the two versions of the bill, and reaching an agreement that can be passed will be no small feat. House Democrats want to see some of the funding cut by the Senate deal restored, while the senators who arranged the compromise are saying they won't support a bill that is too far afield from the one they voted for.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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