November 24th, 2008
06:01 PM ET
5 years ago

House aides: Dems looking for ‘more meat’ on stimulus plan

 Democratic congressional leaders will begin work on legislation before Obama takes office.
Democratic congressional leaders will begin work on legislation before Obama takes office.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A House Democratic aide told CNN Monday that if the Obama administration hopes to get an economic stimulus package through the House in January then they will have to "put a lot more meat on it" and "get people in and justify it."

The aide also said there have not been detailed discussions yet on details between the Obama team and the Hill: "They have been pretty light on their conversations with us about specifics,” says the source. “They take very seriously the notion of only one president at a time."

Given all the elements Obama is looking for in a major stimulus program, there are a lot of committees involved: Appropriations, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Transportation and Infrastructure. If the president-elect wants to have legislation on his desk when he takes office January 20, said this aide, "they need to get going on that right away."

Another House Democratic leadership aide told CNN there have been discussions about the components of a stimulus package, but no decisions or specific talks about the number or how much each element would cost: "we don't have a final number yet," said the source, who added that House Democratic leadership is looking at "several hundred billion dollars. The problem is serious enough that we need it to be big and bold."


Asked about passing a bill through so Obama can sign when he takes office, this aide said, "we're trying to see if we can do that" but added it "depends on exactly how big it is."

A third House Democratic aide echoes comments above, pulling back on any specific number on the size of the stimulus – “the feeling is you need to figure out what you want to do and then arrive at the number. That's the process that's going on right now.”

The source would not discuss a ballpark range, saying only it’s likely to be more than Obama talked about on the campaign trail, more than the $61 billion the House passed in September, more than the $150 billion discussed recently.

The goal is to get Obama a bill to sign “very soon after he is sworn in. I don’t know that it will be that day.”

This aide, who is familiar with the mood among the moderate and conservative Democrats in the House, said the very early read is that there will not be major complaints from these members about how to pay for the package, or its impact on the deficit: Given the dour economic mood, says the aide, people want to see action and that this package will include a “wide range of tax cuts for a broad swath of the middle class.”

The aide also said they believe they can pass the bill with Democratic votes, and aren’t counting on much support, if any, from Republicans.


Filed under: Congress • Obama transition
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Sam

    Why are we still paying Bush and Paulson to continue to mess up. CNN please talk positive the more positive you are American will respond if you keep going at the rate that you are with reporting negative things about our government you will be in the soup line with everyone else. This is no bias,no bull.

    November 24, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. Beverly in NC

    Has everyone forgotten that Obama is not yet the President?? I know we all can hardly wait until he is, but there is nothing he can do at this point but make plans at this point. His teams of excellent appointees are working hard on plans and especially on the economic stimulus package as his first priority.
    Obama will deliver when he is President.

    You saw how Bush threw a little fit today when Obama announced his economic plan and broad outlines of what his team was working on. The stock market responded with record-breaking gains after Obama's speech. Bush went running to the White House lawn whining how he was still the President. Maybe if he had cared so much about being the President, he would have actually done something other than start an illegal war in Iraq and then hide in the White House for the rest of his term while the nation fell apart.

    I can't wait to send the moron back to Texas. He has been the worst and most disgraceful President in our history. Good riddance!

    November 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. MikeH

    You gotta thank the Chinese for funding our stimulus package.

    Until a tax structure like the one FDR put in place to pull this country out of economic collapse and possible marxist insurrection, we will be borrowing from China, Japan, Russia, -beginning to see a pattern here?

    We will collapse from within unless we start breaking the trusts and taxing the plutocracies of America, and start issuing levies against goods manufactured in foreign lands by "American" (in name only) companies.

    November 24, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I'd love to see Obama's balance sheet for how he cuts taxes, provides a stimulus package, and universal health care all while cutting the deficit.

    November 24, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. joseph scalmato

    If it ends that Clinton isn't sec. of state I would think that somebody like kissenger or powell would be a good choice.

    November 24, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Penn Voter

    Is it just me, or does it truly seem impossible for a politician to actually talk without using BS jargon and buzzwords.

    Here's some buzzwords for the Washington Elite.... you are All Hat and No Cattle

    November 24, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  7. Justin

    there's a huge money tree that is growing in the back of the white house! They can get all the money they need from that! No worries!!

    November 24, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. Leo

    Wait for what? we need help.......Bush does not care if we are going to have jobs after He leaves office in January. I appreciate Obama at least is moving forward to look for alternatives. I'm one of the persons affected by this mess......and I don't see any hope righ now.

    November 24, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. vic

    I fear our country will go under before Bush leaves office. He simply dosen't care anymore.
    Once Obama is sworn in we need to back him fully – he has the country at heart and will do whatever is necessary to pull us out of this horrible mess that the republicans made.

    November 24, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  10. lakeside176

    I believe anyone who makes over $150,000 a year should be excluded from the stimulus money. Those are the ones who would only sock the money away and not spend it, while everyone else would spend the money and help the economy. If there was a cap on who received the stimulus money, that would leave more for the ones who desperately need it and would spend it.

    November 24, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. D. Owings

    I couldn't help but laugh when I looked at the comment from "Cynthia – Arkansas". Seems to me she has no clue what got us in this mess. It was the Democratic votes that gave you affordable houses 10 years ago. It was the republicans that 2 times tried to roll that back, saying it would kill the market. It never did add up, as much as we all want a person working at the 7/11 to own his own house from a finacial standpoint it was never going to work. People are not listening, we have not even STARTED to see the financial mess this caused. Obama isn't going to fix this, he can't ... You can print all the money you want, but when the world no longer takes your money then you can do no good anywhere. There was only one way to fix this mess, and both the republicans NOR the democrats want to take that step.

    November 24, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Its interesting that some say the republicans left the mess when the Democrats controlled the house and the senate. Even more interesting is how the country rallied after our country was attacked on our own soil and how only a few years later, when it hits them in the pocketbook, they start complaining.

    it is also interesting that most of the foreclosure mess was made by unscrupulous bankers and fools who took out mortgages they knew they couldn't afford. They were hoping housing costs would continue rising – which runs contrary to the rules of supply and demand.

    It is always easy to point fingers at others but it is much more difficult to look at what you could have or shouldn't have done.

    November 24, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. sandy

    Does it really matter how much it costs?? We are in dire straits right now and to do nothing would be a bigger disaster. Let the man and his people try to work this out before we start crucifying him. I'm sure the republicans will have a lot to say about the cost, but nothing to say about their spending etc that got us in this mess. I for one and behind our new President all the way.

    November 24, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  14. Annjell

    To the moderators,

    I'm not sure what you want me to say on my posts. Surely, I'm not attacking other posters, maybe some of the information threads.

    Tell me, do I have to say something totally out of line, or are you telling me to stay away from your blog? It seems every time I comment on a post it is under moderation. Besides, I really like Countdown with Keith Olbermann & Rachel Maddow show. For CNN, I like Nancy Grace and D.L. Hughley.

    November 24, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  15. Terrence Salter

    President elect Obama has a good plan and a strong team that I believe can get the job done. But we shouldn't have to babysit the Big 3 and Citigroup. The markets go up and overnight are back where they started. The Obama administration should find the internal problem on why this keeps happening. If we are able to afford a stimulus we should put the plan in affect but with internal investigation on high scale C.E.O.s and thier businesses.

    November 24, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. Jack

    I second a comment above.
    Just WHERE is any stimulus coming from.
    Is it running the printing presses (which destroys my non inflation geared wage and my hard earned savings), or is it more borrowing from the Chinese (which undermines this countries independence). Oh wait, I forgot....bankrupt companies/countries have to grab any opportunity that presents itself.

    November 24, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Aliou

    I voted for Dems because I was looking for someone to bail me out of 6 years of unemployment and not being qualified for benefits.
    because my company had the right in my state to fire without motive, and to say what they want about you to other employers. so they said to many of us: if you resign we give you a good recommendation for any other company, organized 2 job fairs with other companies to "help us find a job" and thus got rid of us without any obligation to unemployment.

    they took the jobs to india and philipines. This has been going on in Jacksonville FL for at least 5 years.

    What is a stimulus package based on 2007 tax going to do for me if I don't have a w2 for this period?

    There are many people like me who have worked and paid taxes, but have now fallen out of the system, millions of us. We need a bail out, NOT THE CEOs.

    November 24, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  18. Sharon, TX

    People really need to STOP talking to/leaking information to the Press/Media. CNN, why don't you and the rest of the MSM focus on what's happening with the people of this country? Why not illuminate for all what is actually happening to individuals, families and businesses across the country; who is struggling, who is having to do without AND those who are doing just fine (and especially those who are complaining about losing their unneeded tax breaks, such as yourselves); instead of focusing on your "scoops" from unnamed sources on who is going to be in Pres-Elect Obama's Cabinet & administration? What's going on with the "fat cat" CEOs & executives that have driven corporations into the ground, gambled away jobs, savings and pensions, ruined our economy, left the bill and clean-up to the tax payer, but are still receiving multi-million dollar pay and bonuses? How are our troops doing in Afghanistan? What's happening to our veterans once they return home? How are they doing? What kind of withdrawal agreement did Pres Bush make w/Iraq? How in the world did you (the MSM) allow the current administration to screw things up so bad without forewarning/informing the American public? What happened to effective investigative reporting? What responsibilities do you hold in the mess we find ourselves as a country these days? Where are the analyses and discussions on these important issues? Leave Pres-Elect Obama in peace to build his Cabinet & Administration and develop his plans for our country and simply REPORT his appointments AS HE ANNOUNCES THEM, then conduct your discussions and analyses! For heaven's sake, make yourselves relevant and return to some level of professionalism, especially after your exceptionally poor performance throughout the campaign.

    November 24, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  19. Texas Teacher

    D. Owings..... are you losing your mind, Person... or have you been living under a ROCK for the last 8 years? Clinton left us a good healthy economy. He cleaned up Reagan's mess first! Now Obama is going to have to clean up Bush's MEGA mess! Trickle down economics does NOT work! Your man and your party got us INTO this mess! Now.... you lost, so sit back and let Obama and Company fix it. Republicans are NOT qualified to fix the mess THEY got us into!

    You lost.... suck it up.... and admit your guys screwed the economy up in the name of MONEY! They surely ALL got Rich in the process!! Seriously..... wait a minute.....

    Hold on.....
    CINDY... GIRL, is that YOU AGAIN? Sheesh.... give it a break! Your hubby lost.... you can stop fighting! It's over, girl... it's over! :) Seriously!

    November 24, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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