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Michael C. Burgess

House OKs stimulus bill

Washington - In the first major test of President Barack Obama's ability to push his ambitious agenda through Congress, the House approved yesterday the largest attempt since World War II to use the federal budget to redirect the course of the nation's economy.

Obama had worked hard for bipartisan support for the $819 billion stimulus package, beginning to negotiate possible compromises with Republicans even before entering the White House. But the measure passed the House on a strict party-line vote, 244 to 188.

Not a single Republican supported the bill, and only 11 out of 255 Democrats opposed it, including freshman Rep. Frank M. Kratovil Jr. of Maryland's mostly Eastern...