Senate Centrists Try To Clear Way For Passage Of Stimulus

Senate moderates from both parties are trying to cut as much as $100 billion from the economic stimulus package.

Senate Democratic leaders say they hope it can be passed by tomorrow.

Chances of passage appear to hinge on agreement to a series of changes that would trim the size of the bill, which now would cost well over $920 billion.

Senate centrists who met privately say they've made progress.

Republican Susan Collins of Maine, who met with Barack Obama at the White House yesterday, says the president made a "strong case" for a proposal that would cost about $800 billion.

The president has been issuing a series of increasingly dire warnings in recent days. With new jobless claims registering a bigger gain than expected today, Obama said, "The time for action is now."

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