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Senate to vote Monday on stimulus bill

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The $820 billion economic stimulus bill agreed to by U.S. Senate negotiators will be put up for a vote Monday, senators and aides say.

The compromise was reached Friday when several moderate Republicans, including Sens. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, put Democrats over the 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority needed to pass the measure, Washington publication The Hill reported Saturday.

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Assuming the massive stimulus bill passes the Senate Monday, it would then move to a House-Senate conference committee to iron out differences between the two chambers' versions -- and their differences are many. Obama and congressional Democrats want to pass a conference bill by next weekend, aides say.

The House version is an $819 billion measure, and although the price tags are similar, perhaps the biggest difference is a $70 billion Alternative Minimum Tax patch provision in the Senate bill that's missing from the House version. Even though House Democrats support the AMT relief, they were looking for a final bill totaling around $900 billion if it included AMT relief, The Hill said.

Another difference in the bills is Medicaid funding, which is likely to trigger disputes in conference.

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