Obama stimulus plan passes in U.S. House

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an $US 819 billion economic stimulus package: a major part of President Barack Obama's economic assistance plan.

The passage of the spending bill came days after intense lobbying by Obama, who personally appealed to Congressional Republicans to pass the bill.

The minority Republicans, none of whom voted for the bill, previously said the plan contained too much spending and not enough tax cuts, while Democrats said the spending was necessary due to the circumstances of the failing economy.

Obama issued a written statement thanking the House and promised “to continue to strengthen” the plan.

“What we can't do is drag our feet or allow the same partisan differences to get in our way,” said Obama.

The president also asked Congress to act “swiftly and boldly” to finalize the legislation.

The bill includes $US 544 billion in federal spending and $US 275 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses. It also has stipulations for highway construction and public transit.