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Will stimulus work fast enough?

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The $825 billion stimulus is virtually certain to pass the House of Representatives this week. The Senate has begun drawing up its version of the bill, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid says the legislation should clear both chambers and land on President Obama’s desk by the beginning of the Presidents’ Day recess, Feb. 16.

The extent to which Republicans will vote for the effort remains a major political issue. Mr. Obama traveled to Capitol Hill Tuesday to meet with GOP lawmakers to try to gain more bipartisan support.

The bill contains about $550 billion in spending and aid to states and $275 billion in tax cuts. Republicans generally have said they believe the effort should tilt more toward tax cuts, which they claim would put money in consumers’ pockets more quickly than spending programs.

“The advertised benefits of many of these spending programs fail to play out in reality,” said Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, ranking minority member of the House Budget Committee, at Tuesday’s hearing.

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