November 15th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama urges Congress to work on plan to right economy

Obama said an economic stimulus package will be his first priority.

Obama said an economic stimulus package will be his first priority.

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama urged Congress on Saturday to work next week on a plan to help the country's economy and in particular address unemployment insurance.

"If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as president," he said in his weekly address, which is posted online.

"I urge them to pass at least a down payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families and help get the economy growing again," he said.

"In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year."

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Thursday, 76 percent of Americans said they believe it is likely that Obama will improve economic conditions. In addition, 73 percent of those surveyed said they believe that Obama will bring stability to the financial markets.

Obama, who won 53 percent of the popular vote on November 4, takes office January 20. Many have compared the obstacles that face him to those Franklin Delano Roosevelt confronted when he won the 1932 election.

"Make no mistake," Obama warned Saturday. "This is the greatest economic challenge of our times."

However, he added, "I am more hopeful than ever that America will rise once again."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Richie

    Good to see President elect take lead.,,,,

    November 15, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. David

    I can't blame him we need action now not 2 months from now.

    November 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. lol

    maybe he should start with firing barney frank, he is key in the whole meltdown and then he hould quit staffing his administration with people who took money from fannie/freddie.

    November 15, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. mitch

    the 'lame duck' will 'forget' how to sign his name. nothing will get done until the republicans are out of power, after jan. 20th. republicans are more worried about their 'brand', than solving our nation's problems. they should have kept the motto of 'separation of church and state'. anyone who doesn't look or pray like them is 'immoral' or 'terrorist sympathizer'. they made the war against al-quaeda, a 'religious war', by their pathetic attempts to smear president barack by portraying him as a 'closet' muslim with terrorist's ties. turns out he's more 'american' than any of them. the rest of us recognize this,and the republican 'brand' will never recover.....

    November 15, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. phil

    isn't obama still being paid to be a senator, maybe he should also be working with the senate instead of urging others to do the job. or is he too good to do the job he's presently being paid to perform? maybe the paycheck should be returned since he's not earning it for the intended purpose, maybe return the last few years checks since he did say he's been campaining for over 2 years.

    November 15, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Hope

    Yes We Can, Fired Up Ready to Go.

    November 15, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Simmy

    Mr. President: we will rise!

    It's always darkest before dawn. Weeping may endure for a night (8-years), but joy (Change) will come in the morning! It will take some time, since Rome (Bush Devastation) wasn't built in a day, 'but we as a people will get there!'

    We are praying for you; and prayer is more powerful than anything else in this world!

    Go Dems Go; in Jesus' name!

    November 15, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Richie

    Dear President elect,

    We the citizens of united states, we love you!

    November 15, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Joe Regis

    A man with a sound plan and the judgment to make the right decision to inspire America and to get things done.

    An inspiration to all.

    November 15, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. jrzshor

    did he not say that there was only one president? so why not wait until 1-20-09.

    November 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. bob

    For those asking what change because of the posts that are due to be given to the politicians, I don't think either of them have ever held a job that the President is going to give them

    Clinton has never been a secretary of state=change
    Kerry has never been an sos=change
    Bill richie sos=change
    susan rice sos=real change
    hagel sos= real real change

    What else do you people want. I am sure some of you were among those that said Palin is one of them despite her unqualified stature......

    November 15, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Ms. G

    May God bless and keep him safe! Our economy is a big challenge for us. I can't wait for him to have the rains on January 20th, God willing. President Obama will be good for our country. God Bless America!!

    November 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. latina

    Time for Minority rule.....White people should chill!

    November 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. jrzshor

    "Many have compared the obstacles that face him to those Franklin Delano Roosevelt confronted when he won the 1932 election".

    Who are the many? The MEDIA (cover page of Time)? Historians? I would think that nearly all the people have no clue about the "depression" let alone that an election was held in 1932 three years after the "crash".

    November 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. There IS hope for the future>>>

    Currently, Washington is helping to "bailout" the large companies. That's good in itself, but, the American people need help also. Get the money down and back into the consumers hands and the economy will prosper. Some call it socialism, some call it spread the wealth, some say welfare, etc, etc.... No matter what you call it or how you look at it, the people need money to spend to build the companies back up. Lots of people are losing their jobs through no fault of their own. If people are not spending, it serves good for no one...

    November 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Shannon

    why didn't he work to fix the economy while he was in the senate. Let's hope he's more successful as a President than he was a Senator. Name one thing he did to help the economy wile as a Senator, oh that's right he took tons of money from Freddie and Fannie. Got it!

    November 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. facts are facts

    Unfortunately after listening to some of the Republican party members it doesn't look like they have a grasp of the current situation in the U.S.

    If they decide to let GM and the other 2 auto companies go down the result will not only be the loss of Millions of jobs for Americans but it will also be a loss of Government revenue required to keep these unemployed people solvent with unemployment benefits etc.

    With most manufacturiing jobs being held by people with high school educations or less will mean their chances of finding employment at a living wage almost impossible for a long time to come.

    The Republican rhetoric that new businesses can be started will be of no consequence to the millions of automaker related job losses as most will not be able to start up their own businesses or work at any new businesses than might be started.

    November 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. Oil

    Energy runs the Economy and the Enron Scheme for Oil under Bush bankrupted the world.

    Now that Bush and the Gang of Energy theifs have gone bust the price of oil is ALMOST down to pre-Bush levels.

    It wasn't supply and demand it was corner the market and get rich quick now they are all so happy the world is bankrupt.

    November 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. Grace Needed

    It is my experience that you can't be that hopeful of the future when faced with such depressing news unless you have faith in a higher power. When you persevere through trials, God builds your character, which produces hope in circumstances that crush many and a faith in God that will NOT disappoint.

    November 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. latina-obama 2012

    The election of Barack Obama had the effect of prying open a window in a stale room. You can breathe again. Not everybody, of course. The neoconservatives are in shock. Suddenly they have no administration in Washington. The White House is enemy territory, soon to be staffed by people who do not see the world in black and white.

    November 15, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Kathleen Reiter

    Do not give illegal immigrants access to our social security benefits as the democratic congress is trying to do...we are tired
    of these bleeding heart liberals giving in to illegals. Stop this
    injustice now, President-Elect Obama!

    November 15, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. ben

    President elect Barrack Obama
    Please research the major car companies and learn how much money they make in foreign countries. You must know a ford made in Mexico pays no taxes nor do they pay a tarif for the cars the import into the U.S.
    Why do the American based car manufaturers get to show huge losses, and pay no taxes while at the same time are reaping huge profits from
    their products made abroad? Does it make sense to give these vultures mare money to keep on expoiting the Americans

    November 15, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Danny

    President-elect Barack Obama's White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel has apologised to the US-Arab community for remarks made by his father.
    I got this news from BBC. CNN, why don't you publish such news just because it is negative. You are biased.

    November 15, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Am reading FDR by Jean Edward Smith now and the parallels between what faced FDR in 1932 and what faces Obama in 2009 are uncanny. If Obama is half the President FDR was we'll make it out OK. Big difference then is that Congress and the public were eager to cede responsibility and power to FDR to make the decisions. Don't think that will be the case for Obama. Every move he makes will be blasted by the far right whether it is a good move or not.

    November 15, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. David

    One major issue I don't see discussed is the very basic fact that housing values were 'falsely' increased, based on the funny loans giving the impression that buyers were able to afford the much higher home prices. What needs to happen is the financial institutions eat the 'false' increase in home value so that we balance out. If we continue to pretend that a $200k home is worth $350k with extended payments, the homeowner will still take a loss when selling, since few people will be able to afford the property in the real world. Which will still bring down home values across the nation.

    November 15, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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