US President Barack Obama's $790 billion economic stimulus plan passed the House on Friday and was heading for final approval in the Senate, clearing the way for a major early victory for the president who says the package is necessary to turn around the ailing US economy.
The House of Representatives gave final approval to the economic stimulus package on a vote of 246-183, with no opposition Republican "yes" votes. It next goes to the Democratic-dominated Senate, where it could pass late Friday. If it does, as expected, it goes to Obama to sign into law.
Obama on Friday hailed the massive bill and the "spirited debate" that accompanied it, but warned that "it's only the beginning of what we must do to turn our economy around."
Conservatives in both houses have been relentless critics of the plan, arguing it is filled with wasteful spending and that greater tax cuts would be more effective in creating jobs. Seven of Obama's fellow Democrats voted against the bill.