The Senate on Thursday approved a $150 billion economic stimulus package that includes additional tax write-offs for small businesses.

The plan, which passed by 81-16, is nearly identical to a package approved by the House last week and backed by the Bush Administration. The Senate had blocked an earlier version of the package that contained extra tax rebates for low-income earners, among other provisions.

Under the plan, small businesses will be able to expense as much as $250,000 in equipment or property purchased this year, up from $125,000. In total, the package cuts taxes on business investments by about $44 billion.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, called the plan a "wise investment in our country's economic stability."

"Providing small-business owners with immediate tax relief gives them an incentive to invest and help jumpstart the economy," Kerry said in a statement.

The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's largest small-business advocacy group, urged Congress and the president to put the plan into action.

"The sooner small-business owners can count on these tax incentives, the sooner small-business owners can take advantage of the stimulus package and start investing in their businesses," Dan Danner, the group's executive vice president, said in a statement.