President Obama's economic stimulus package was one step closer to becoming law on Tuesday after the Senate voted to pass its version of the bill.

Lawmakers must now reconcile the Senate bill - which passed with a 61-37 vote - with the House version to send it to the President for his signature.

The President has focused heavily on passing the stimulus bill since his administration began, telling Americans in ever more dire words that the nation will face economic catastrophe if the bill does not pass.

In a sign of Republican defiance, members of the minority party unanimously voted against the House version of the bill last month, indicating their displeasure with its legislative agenda which calls for more than $500 billion in new spending. The GOP wanted more tax cuts, which President Obama and other Democratic leaders have been opposed to