November 24th, 2008
06:01 PM ET
9 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. abraxis

    Although borrowing more money and increasing the national debt is always undesirable, there is not a lot of choices to jump start the economy the way it is. When money and resources are tied up in the hands of the few, there is not enough liquidity and thus no elasticity for the economy to operate. A major reason how any economy can operate is when resources are put in the hands of the majority where they can save and spend to make it elastic. In the hands of the few, resources cannot be spent fast enough, to make it liquid, once the economy is stalled.

    It is a fine balance between enough and too much resource polarization in the hands of the few and the many. You have to be smart to figure out that oscillating balance. Of course, you can never accused the current administration of being smart.

    I am glad that village in Texas is reclaiming its idiot!

    November 24, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. chris

    Oh yeah I can't wait for the transition. The country will most likely fall harder into a recession. Let's keep spending money that we don't have... oh wait that's how it got started in the first place!

    November 24, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  3. dittohead with forty names

    Geithner is not change,just another crook from The Federal Reserve Bank.A bank that has no Competition and is run by underworld criminals and money changers that run the world.

    November 24, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. KLEE

    Armando – it is a moot point now – we could bury our heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away.....guess what it won't -- & it won't be pretty – but someone has to have the guts to say – well the very best we can do is this – along with some of the brightess people we have in this country – and even that won't be pretty) - Armando – are you an economist? are you a historian?? Do you know how it gots this way??? if so why don't you present your plan to Congress maybe YOU can bail us out of this mess – I'd like to hear what you would propose.....gosh darn I'm sure you have all the answers!!

    November 24, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Tracy M.

    Okay. So here's where we come in, folks. Starting January 21st. Having Election withdrawal? Here's where you write, call, e-mail your representatives and senators. Here's where WE step in and tell them THEY are not running this show. And if the Obama administration wants something done, and we think it's a good idea, then it by God better get done, or they'll be unemployed next time they run. And we can't give up, or stop calling. The end of the Bush administration has to mean the end of the silence of the citizenry. Seriously. THEY work for US. The nerve!

    November 24, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. james

    The economic crisis is not the republicans fault. It's not the democrats fault. It is the voter's fault for allowing politicians to act the way that thet have for decades. To think that Obama is going to be any better than Bush is ridiculus.

    November 24, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. Kirsten

    As Armando said, where exactly are they getting this money? The taxpayers of course. Its not like we don't have enough problems and now they're trying to force even MORE money out of this? Great. Guess we have a fun time ahead of us.

    November 24, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Angus


    November 24, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Tatsit - UT

    I would have to imagine they are planning on having the federal reserve conjure up more money out of thin air and cause more inflation. People will be like, they were the last stim pack – yay! money! but what they do not realize is that this will cause more inflation. People need to call their house rep and tell them to support house bill 2755 to abolish the Federal Reserve and get on a silver backed standard and keep the control with congress and the economy will recover quickly.

    Bail outs means more misery for the rest of us.

    November 24, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  10. Craig from NC

    How can we get rid of all the Democrats in Congress? The whole economic mess is their fault.

    November 24, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  11. Jaye

    Do whatever it takes.... we're behind you all the way.

    November 24, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    To Gisele

    Yes, this is 9/11 flavored with Katrina weather and the weather is STICKING around for a long time. Yes, we cant afford to WAIT!!! Obama really needs to declare a state of emergency and JUST take over the economy. It's really really serious. Think of a drunk patient and that patient crashed into a tree. There's no time to sit around.

    November 24, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. Pete

    Obama, light on specifics, no way!

    November 24, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Dixie AZ

    How about this for a plan? Instead of flooding banks with cash from the top, why don't we by up mortgages in trouble. Place a five year moritorium on those home owners refinancing or selling, this will flood the banks with cash from paid mortgages, allow time for the housing market to recover, and give relief to those strapped mortgage holders. A pay back to the government by those same home owners could be arranged. Bailing out banks or car makers is plain stupid.

    November 24, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. FreeNLovIt

    Money? What money? Hopefully we can create lots and lots of jobs and we can ALL volunteer to pay LOTS of taxes to help America. We need to stop being GREEDY and think about FREEDOM and pay taxes!!! Have it my way, have anyone that voted for W TWICE, pay all the taxes...

    November 24, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Pete

    Gisele, you are naive. Let's all panick and bring in the Messiah. We have seen how the stock market has reacted to the Messiah's election.

    And Cynthia, the huge mess is left by the democrats who headed fannie and freddie for the past two years and refused to increase regulation and who refused to stop lending money to people who couldn't afford to repay it. Why don't you read up on Barnie Frank and Chris Dodd, and see how well they handled their responsibilities the past two years. Also, notice how those in charge of the large banks are now on Obama's team.

    Are people really this retarted?

    November 24, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. Wouldn't you like to know?

    It's all over the news as to where the money will come from. It could be as musc as $700 million more to fund Obama's stimulous plan. I thought he campaigned on "Change". Nothing he has said or tried to do even though he's not formally been sworn in is in tume with what he campaigned on.

    November 24, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. JR Salazar

    More meat on the stimulus plan...Must be the Thanksgiving holiday coming. Don't forget the cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, among others.

    A lot of people hungry on the Hill, I fancy.

    November 24, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. Tonya Dear

    1 IT would seem to me that the US needs a stimulus package without raising the deficit.

    2 We need a stimulus to help buisness and low income Americans deal with the holiday seasons.

    3 Send out the earn income credits early Based on 2007 tax return.

    4 You can easily do this because all the information is already in the tax information.

    5 There are several different ways to do this mathematically
    A. You could retrieve all money back from 2008 tax return
    B. Or you could charge percentage of that back in a 5 or 10 years period at 10 or 20 percent. This would keep the stimulus on going. In the tax payers can retreat all there money back.


    November 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. Sara from Arizona

    Your tax dollars at work. People should be outraged.

    November 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. Jim Thrash in Alaska

    This "mess" took longer than 8 years to make. President Bush gets far more blame than he deserves. It's easy for Democrats to throw rocks, but remember how little power the president has and how much the democrats have wielded during the past 8 years. Also, please note that this is a global crisis, not just a US one. Every continent and every nation is feeling it and national leaders around the world are meeting and taking action. Yes, a US President should have done more to intervene early, but George W. Bush doesn't deserve the blame he is getting. Lay off please.

    November 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. GOP=Epic Fail

    as much as i need money to save my house from foreclosure; i strongly disagree with a plan to print more money out of thin air, and devalue the dollar even further.

    the federal reserve is out of control...who regulates the feds?

    November 24, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  23. Tim

    i feel the stimulas pkg has to be big enough to make a differance the last was meaningless had no impact at all what about giving ea family 10,000.00 to pay their mortgages and other debt that would mean something to the people and help stimulate the economy much more dont you think thank you.

    November 24, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  24. Terrence Salter from Dallas, TX

    It sounds like a good plan but what I've been seeing with these bailouts is wall street closes on a good note but I'll wake up and see the market down again. Does the government seriously have to babysit these large scale C.E.O.s through every step they take to save this economy? Hopefully the Obama administration can put this plan into action only with spending probation for the big 3 and other companies in need of bailouts.

    November 24, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Armando

    He isn't surrounding himself with the best and the brightest. He is surrounding himself with the same old. I suggest everyone get Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

    November 24, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
1 2 3