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U.S. Senate passes stimulus bill; Obama hails 'good news'

The U.S. Senate passed an $838-billion US economic stimulus bill on Tuesday, moving it one step closer to landing on President Barack Obama's desk.

The U.S. Senate passed an $838 billion US economic stimulus bill on Tuesday, moving it one step closer to landing on President Barack Obama's desk.

The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 61-37.

The Senate and the House of Representatives must now negotiate on a single bill to send to Obama.

The House's version of the bill has a price tag of $819 billion US.

"That's good news," Obama said in reaction to the Senate approval. "We've got a little more work to do."

"We've had a good debate," he said before a crowd in Fort Myers, Fla., where he had gone for a town hall session.

"That's part of what democracy is all about. But the time for talking is over. Folks here in Fort Myers and across America need help. They need action, and they need it now."

Obama spent Monday and Tuesday urging lawmakers to get the economic stimulus bill through Congress quickly.

Obama wants a final bill by the weekend.

With files from Associated Press

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