The Senate passed its version of the economic stimulus bill Tuesday. It is a $838 billion package, which includes funding for special education and a one-time stimulus payment for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.

However, there are significant differences between the versions passed by the House of Representatives last month and the version now passed by the Senate. The House version includes more funding for education and health issues, while the Senate version includes more tax cuts. The two versions must be reconciled before a bill can be signed by President Barack Obama.

Both plans include a one time stimulus payment to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, but they vary in the amount. The House plan offers about $450 to individuals, while the Senate plan provides just $300 per person.

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Like the House version, the Senate bill includes $13 billion for special education and $87 billion to help states cover Medicaid costs.

In order for the legislation to go into effect, Congress must reconcile the two versions and the president must sign the agreed upon version into law. Obama has indicated he would like to sign the bill before President’s Day, this coming Monday.

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Previous stories on this topic:

House Passes Stimulus Plan (January 28, 2009)

Senate Stimulus Proposal Less Promising For Those With Disabilities (January 23, 2009)

Disabilities Front And Center On Obama’s To-Do List (January 21, 2009)

Stimulus Proposal Offers Payment, Aid To People With Disabilities (January 16, 2009)