January 25th, 2009
05:05 PM ET
10 months ago

Obama looks to cash in some political capital

President Barack Obama is trying to get Republicans on board his plan to stimulate the economy.
President Barack Obama is trying to get Republicans on board his plan to stimulate the economy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama, who arguably won a large chunk of political capital in the 2008 election, is now looking to cash in as he urges Congress to pass a massive economic stimulus package.

But questions about how to spend the money and concerns about the last stimulus package under former President Bush, may create a roadblock.

It's something the newly minted president is hoping to avoid. But like most things in Washington, cooperation doesn't come easy.

And that may be why Obama painted an extremely grim portrait of the nation's economy on Saturday - just hours before he met with his economic team, and days before he meets with Republicans leaders on Capitol Hill.

"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 pleaded for quick action, warning, "a bad situation could become dramatically worse." Watch Obama's weekly address

The president urged congressional members to quickly pass an $825 billion economic stimulus package, which he hopes will create up to 4 million jobs over the next two years.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Congress
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. DAVE IN CA

    v marie: the american public definitely need to contact there so called representatives but not for this bill but to let them know not to do it.... oh wait you probably are waiting for your first installment for your vote and your 7 illegitimate kids with 6 different fathers...... and you probably reside in the Bay Area with your rep. Pelozi? unless you have blinders on and watch only MSNBC you have as well as AMERICA have no idea what your president is going to do...... i guess if they had asked the tough questions during the campaign instead of gushing over what little he has done to get to where he is

    January 25, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. Allen

    We are in this economic mess because our society spends (and borrows) too much. Why do we keep thinking we can spend and borrow our way to a healthy economy? When are we going to realize there are no quick and painless solutions to this problem? We are just digging ourselves in deeper. Step one to fixing the problem is adding a BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT to the constitution.

    January 25, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  3. Lori

    How dare the Republicans insult our intelligence. Where was the outcry when Bush was in charge? Now all of a sudden their care about fiscal spending again. Boehner and the Republicans- give us a break!!!

    January 25, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. billy-bayou

    Does that frigging idiot obama realize that there are today more people in the work force than there was 26 years ago? With that in mind, any third grader understands the percentage will rise, it doesn't take a Haaaavaarrrrrd PhD.

    January 25, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. JB

    I think the senators willing to stall the process should consider their constituents – you know, the people they work for. Many don't have the luxury of time it takes for them to fully complete their political grandstanding. There's a lot of folks in desperate situations – jobs and homes have been lost. This is not the time for political power games. Remember who you work for folks.

    January 25, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. Greg Hodges

    While I am a supporter of Pres. Obama; he must make sure that the money he seeks for a stimulus package is spent in a wise and transparent way; to ensure the public continues to trust that he is indeed looking out for Main Street and not special interest groups. In that way he will continue to enjoy the widespread support that will guarentee the Republicans ( and morons like Rush Limbaugh) will not have a leg to stand on in their efforts to sabotage his administra- ion. It makes me wonder how Limbaugh can be taken seriously by any American, when he clearly puts ideology before his country.

    January 25, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. Penn Voter

    I hope his check bounces. I for one am glad that my elected representatives are questioning his proposal and making sure it has been tested and reviewed before we the people are left holding the tab.

    January 25, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
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