The US Senate has passed an economic stimulus plan expected to cost some $838bn (£573bn).
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 61-37 to approve the measure, with few Republicans opting to back it.
Tough negotiations are now expected in order to reconcile the Senate bill with the House of Representatives's version.
President Barack Obama welcomed the vote as a good start. It came as the US Treasury Secretary unveiled a bank bail-out plan worth some $1.5 trillion