Senate Passes Economic Stimulus, Sanders Calls 'Substantially Improved'

WASHINGTON, February 7 - The Senate late this afternoon voted 81 to 16 for an economic stimulus package that adds tax rebates for retirees and disabled veterans to a House-passed version of the bill.

"I am glad the stimulus package was substantially improved by adding help for 20 million seniors on Social Security and 250,000 veterans living on disability benefits. Including seniors and veterans will help people truly in need, and it will help the economy overall. It's the right thing to do," Senator Bernie Sanders said.

"I am disappointed, however, that the Republicans filibustered a better package that also included home heating assistance, an extension of unemployment insurance and a tax credit for those involved with wind and solar energy. Our economy is in trouble and I intend to do all I can to bring these measures back up as soon as possible."

Under the bill now headed back to the House of Representatives for final passage, income tax rebates of $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples will go to most taxpayers. Parents also could receive another $300 per child.