U.S. President Barack Obama is urging the U.S. Senate to pass his massive economic stimulus bill, saying the "time for talk is over" and the "time for action is now."
Mr. Obama warned that the crisis, which includes the loss of a half-million jobs each month for the last two months and dramatic increases in first-time claims for unemployment, could turn into what he called a "catastrophe" for families and businesses.
Today, Thursday in Washington, Mr. Obama defended the scale and scope of the 900 billion-dollar plan, saying it is what the country needs now. He said it will create or save up to three million jobs. But minority Republicans in the Democratic-controlled Senate have criticized the spending in the bill. They say the measure does not contain enough tax cuts. Senators are debating the bill now, and a vote could come later today.