Quick Congressional approval of economic stimulus could mean tax rebates by May

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government rebate checks could be on the way to millions of taxpayers by spring.

The Bush administration is calling for quick congressional approval of the economic stimulus package hammered out in negotiations between Congress and the White House.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says checks could start going out in May and most people would have them by July, in amounts of up to $600 for individual taxpayers and $1,200 for couples. Even people too poor to pay income taxes would get $300.

The package goes to the House floor next week and then to the Senate, and the pressure is on for fast passage. Some Democrats want to add unemployment benefits and boost food-stamp help. But Paulson says there's not going to be a lot of patience for talk.

At Thursday night's Republican debate in Florida, the presidential candidates generally applauded the accord but called for more tax cuts to right the economy.

John McCain, the only Republican senator running for president, said he'll vote for the package.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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