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gmsc2/04/2009 7:37:43 am PST

Washington Post: Senate Lacks Votes to Pass Stimulus

Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.

The legislation represents the first major test for President Obama and an expanded Democratic Congress, both of which have made economic recovery the cornerstone of their new political mandate. The stimulus package has now tripled from its post-election estimate of about $300 billion, and in recent days lawmakers in both parties have grown wary of the swelling cost.

Moderate Republicans are trying to trim the bill by as much as $200 billion, although Democrats working with those GOP senators have not agreed to a specific figure.