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“This is not a package that meets the president’s goals,” said Mr. Ensign, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “We need to have a package … that’s targeted to create jobs.”

He said the housing problem should be fixed first because “that’s what’s dragging the economy down.” People facing foreclosure could refinance their homes at 4 percent interest rates so that “every American could save $400 a month,” he said.

“This is a huge pork-barrel spending bill that is not going to help the economy,” Mr. Ensign said of the proposed stimulus legislation.

Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, told MSNBC that the stimulus plan should “guarantee low interest rates for mortgages” and should include tax cuts for small businesses because “in that way they can hire more people.”

He said the plan should be implemented “in a targeted way” and that the results of spending on the stimulus “can’t be on the backs of our children and grandchildren.”