November 24th, 2008
06:01 PM ET
10 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. Carl from MI

    Jan. 20th can't come soon enough!! Thank God Bush is being kicked to the curb!!

    Do you Republicans think Bush could have done any more to destroy our country? The man has destroyed our country from the inside out in only EIGHT years!!

    Let's vote another Republican President in 4 years so they can finish the job of destroying our country completely!!! Idiots...

    November 24, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. jackie ohio

    i want cash money in hand

    November 24, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Wow?

    Memo to Bush and Cheney.

    Please resign and let Nancy Pelosi take control until Jan 20.

    Thank you in advance,

    Signed Most Americans

    November 24, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. How Dare You

    A house democratic aide ????

    Barack Obama is the Presidnt of the United States.

    How dare ... a democratic aide ... come in and bark at him like some little junkyard dog". Obama will teach Congress how it is done...

    .... sorry I couldn't resist.

    November 24, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Will in Carson City

    Let the handouts begin!

    Exactly where is this money going to come from? The 1st Bush stimulus was from the Clinton surplus. The one from this year was advertised as an advance on next year's refunds. I guess this is the "just because" stimulus.

    November 24, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. JK Ashburn, VA

    Huh? This guy was elected by avoiding any meat whatsoever. The first Vegan in the White House! He specializes in vague, non-substantive eloquence. Nothing in his background or experience suggests he could find meat even if he were riding a bull.

    November 24, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. diana

    why not bail out us poor working folks making less than 20 thousand a year...we need homes and food too

    November 24, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. Proud to be American

    Main Street nees to be stimulated in a big way...... come on New year as I am still hopeful that an Obama Administration will do some good work!

    November 24, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Simmy

    Be big and bold, get down and dirty, get hairy cairy if you need to, but by all means get some money out to Middle America!

    Take some of that balance from the 700B Bailout, because those people are not going to use all of that money wisely – I know it – or I think it!

    November 24, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Gisele from NY

    This transition is very difficult since there can be only one president at at time. I see that Bush has worked in cooperation with Obama, which is nice. But every day leads to more foreclosures, more job losses, etc. I think the 12th amendment, which is behind the "transition" and the Jan 20 inauguration, should be changed because right now the country needs leadership and has none.

    November 24, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    Thank God we get to pick a new Prez every four years.

    November 24, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Would everyone just calm down! Obama is not even in office yet, and he is already expected to fix this HUGE mess left by the Republicans. I feel certain that he will have a very good plan. He is surrounding himself with the best and brightest, but Rome wasn't built in a day. This mess took 8 years to make, so I think it will take a little time to fix it.

    November 24, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. Armando

    Just curious where they will get the money from? More inflation or borrowing?

    November 24, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Mike

    You mean pork.

    November 24, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. voter

    where was congress in asking questions when wall street was seeking a bailout? Why did congress provide citigroup with a $20 billion dollar bailoutout without asking them questions? sounds hyporcritical to me.

    November 24, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. happy thanksgiving

    who can afford meat?

    November 24, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Scoop

    Comments were closed on Jack Cafferty's commentary about whether or not we should raise the taxes of the wealthy.

    I implore every American to research the Bush tax cuts personally instead of relying on the (Liberal) media to do it for them. Bush's tax cuts helped EVERYONE and here's the proof. (By the way, the proof can be found by comparing past 1040 booklets from Here's what I discovered:

    My husband and I (filed on 1040EZ) had a whopping taxable income of $14K in 1996. Our tax was $2K. The tax on the same taxable income on the 2002 tax table was $1380. If my math serves me, that's 1/3 LESS than the Clinton era taxes. Soooo, if the Dems let the Bush tax cuts expire (and they will), look for your taxes even at the poverty level, to go up 30%. That will certainly help our economy. Quit blaming the rich for all of your problems – it's EVERYONE who will suffer.

    November 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. lovable liberal

    Republicans don't want to stimulate the economy. They just want to cut taxes on the wealthy, which is self-stimulation.

    November 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. WayBetterThanBush

    Go Obama!

    November 24, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. daniel wade

    I heard someone say,"Are we going to keep on going with bail-outs until we're broke?" I thought that's what deficit means? In my opinion we've been broke since the deficit started. If the world is going to let us get in their pocket for a trillion, why not trillions?

    November 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    November 24, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Texas Teacher

    What I would like to know is why are We, the People, bailing out mega banks so that they can buy more banks until they have a monopoly on banking?

    This sounds like more of Reagan/Bush trickle down economics.

    WE are the ones paying for these bail outs! It's our Tax Dollars! Are we bailing out Banks to make bankers rich... or are we bailing out banks to help the rest of us cope as well?

    NO ONE is BAILING the REST of US OUT! ... call me Confused in TX

    November 24, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. Annjell

    that's exactly what we need is a stimulus package for the working people of the U.S.

    Have these consumer driven companies forgot, without consumers you have no profits.

    November 24, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. Jann in Denver

    Obama does not have to be specific at this time; there can only be one President at a time. I think he is being absolutely smart in the content and amount of information provided to the press and the public. I personally don't mind knowing exactly what the plan is at this time. I can wait...I have confidence that whatever plan is put forth by the Obama administration will be beneficial to America as a whole.

    This is George Bush's mess...he made his bed of thorns, now its time he lay on it. And yes, we as American's elected him twice (I didn't vote for the clown, but I am an American) so we must lay in our bed of thorns as well.

    This mess is the George Bush Legacy. Let him and his cronies wallow in their misery until the very last day.

    Until then, we as Americans need to think about how we can serve our country; how can we change our practices, our lifestyles, our way of thinking of others and work together to get out of this mess and bring our country back to a respectable postion in the world.

    November 24, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  25. Look at History

    If one looks back on their history books and looks at what was tried to solve the great depression of the 30's, one finds that all these were tried then. All of them failed. Economic stimulus – Failure. Governmental work programs – Failure. Big loans to banks and large business – Failure. I fear these will fail again this time...

    What finally got the economy back on track was the war. Then the world started consuming again. Lets not go to war to solve this economic crisis, but lets get all nations to invest in a common cause, like worldwide food shortages, worldwide energy, something positive!

    November 24, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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