WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama painted a bleak economic picture of the country Saturday, hours before he will meet with his economic team.
"We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action," he said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
"Just this week, we saw more people file for unemployment than at any time in the last 26 years, and experts agree that if nothing is done, the unemployment rate could reach double digits," Obama said.
The president pleaded for urgent action, saying, "if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse."
Obama's remarks came as he is lobbying for a quick congressional passage of a $825 billion dollar stimulus package to pump up the economy.
The president revealed more details on his stimulus package, which he says would add more than 3,000 miles of electric lines to transport alternative energy across the country.
Obama also says the plan would save taxpayers $2 billion by making three-quarters of federal buildings more energy efficient, and would "save the average working family $350 on their energy bills by weatherizing 2.5 million homes."
Other details in Saturday's address include a call to invest more in Pell Grants to make college more affordable for seven million more students. The White House also released a report on the issue, on what is called the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan," which calls for greater investment in Pell Grants, a $2,500 college tax credit for four million college students and the tripling of the number of fellowships in science to help spur innovation.
Some Republicans in Congress are pushing back against the plan, questioning whether it will stimulate the economy. They also say the overall price tag is too expensive and want to see more in tax cuts for individuals and businesses and less in government spending.
The president is calling for the plan, which he hopes will create up to four million jobs over the next two years, to be passed by Congress and at his desk for signing by February 16, which is Presidents Day.