WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Democrats have agreed to scale back their economic stimulus package in order to pick up Republican support for the measure which had stalled over GOP concerns the bill was too big and loaded with special interest provisions. Final congressional approval could come as early as Thursday officials said,clearing the way for rebate checks to be sent to millions of Americans this spring.
Democrats will drop demands for an extension of unemployment benefits, energy assistance for low-income households, and a series of tax breaks for energy providers. But they will include provisions supported by Republicans, including rebate checks for low-income Social Security recipients and disabled veterans and their widows as well as language designed to prevent illegal immigrants from getting rebates.
Those provisions will be added to the House-passed stimulus bill which, in addition to providing rebate checks, gives tax breaks to businesses designed to spur spending.
Precise details of the size of the rebate checks and the income caps were not immediately available.
–CNN's Ted Barrett and Brianna Keilar