House and Senate leaders on Wednesday struck a deal on a $789bn economic stimulus bill after little more than 24 hours of rapid-fire negotiations with the Obama administration, clearing the way for final Congressional action later this week.

The package of spending increases and tax relief, intended to spur an economic recovery and create jobs by putting money back in the pockets of consumers and companies, ended up smaller than either the House or Senate had proposed.

Many Democrats would have preferred a larger bill, but agreed to pare back, including cuts to favoured education and health programs, to win three crucial Republican votes in the Senate.

New York Times