Stimulus Clears Hurdle

One down, several more to go: Obama’s stimulus plan passed a key test on Capitol Hill this evening, despite strong Republican opposition. With the president campaigning in Indiana today for passage of the $827 billion bill, the Senate voted for cloture, 61-36—with ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy returning to cast his “yea”—one more than the 60 needed to overcome a GOP filibuster. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, announced the cloture vote, which cuts off debate on the bill and moves it toward passage at another Senate vote tomorrow. The next big hurdle: negotiations with the House on a final compromise.