Senate passes stimulus package

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After several days of debates, the Senate has voted to include the needs of disabled veterans and older adults in the now $167 billion economic relief package.

Seniors and vets receiving at least $3,000 a year in social security or disability benefits will receive tax rebate checks in the amount of $300. Individual taxpayers will receive $600 and couples will receive $1,200. Nursing home providers have been pushing for an increase in states' Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) in the stimulus package.

Senators reached a compromise after Democrats agreed to drop additional aid to the jobless and the poor after Republicans repeatedly blocked those provisions. The House was expected to pass the bill and send it to President Bush as early as Thursday night for his signature.