WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain says he'd vote against the bill backed by President Obama to pump up the economy.
The former GOP presidential nominee said Monday on CNN's "American Morning" that he's working with a group of fellow Republican senators to come up with an alternative package that emphasizes payroll tax cuts, incentives for people to stay in their homes, and an end to the stimulus spending when the economy begins to recover.
The Senate is expected to begin debate Monday on a nearly $900 billion stimulus plan. An $819 billion dollar version of the bill passed the House of Representatives last week without a single Republican vote. All 177 GOP House members voted against the legislation, saying it was too heavy on spending and too thin on tax cuts.
McCain's hungry for more tax cuts in the bill, saying "we would like too to see more incentives such as a $15,000 tax credit for home ownership. We would like to see elimination of these policy changes which have nothing to do with jobs, we want the stimulus package to focus on jobs."
And McCain says that some provisions in the current bill, crafted by Congressional Democrats, need to go, adding that "many of the policy changes they put in have nothing to do with stimulating the economy."
The senator from Arizona also called for serious negations with the Democrats who run the Senate, saying that '"we are clearly prepared to sit down, discuss, negotiate, a try to get a stimulus package that will create jobs. We all know how tough the economy is. It's been rammed through the Senate so far, we need to seriously negotiate. We haven't done that yet. We can do it, though."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will get the nuts and bolts when Defense Secretary Robert Gates briefs him Monday afternoon about specific plans for adding 15,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
Three U.S. military sources have confirmed to CNN that Gates will present the plan when he meets with Obama and Biden Monday afternoon.
On Friday, Gates received the military's plans for sending three additional brigades to the war zone, but deferred on signing off on the plan until he could brief the new president.
The plan calls for ultimately sending two additional combat brigades - most likely one Army and one Marine Corps unit - and a brigade of trainers for Afghan security forces.
Military sources emphasize they do not expect the Obama to get involved in the minute details of deployment orders, but since this is the first major decision of his presidency about troop deployment, Gates wanted to brief him personally.
Monday's meeting follows a visit by Obama on Jan. 28 to the Pentagon for what was described as an "unvarnished" give-and-take on how to move forward in America's two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama called the Superbowl winners the Pittsburgh Steelers after their big win Sunday night, White House officials said Monday.
Obama started with the team's owner Dan Rooney. The two developed a rapport after Rooney had given Obama a game ball from the conference championship earlier.
The president also called coach Mike Tomlin, and the quarterback "Big Ben" Roethlisberger to congratulate them. He invited everyone to visit the White House.
Obama was rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers and threw a bipartisan Superbowl party for the occasion.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's choice to oversee health care reform in his administration expressed regret Monday to Senate leaders over tax issues that are dogging his nomination.
Former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said he is "deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns," in a letter dated Monday to the senior Democrat and Republican on the Senate Finance Committee that was provided to CNN.
"I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them," Daschle said in the letter to Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
Daschle has been nominated by Obama to be secretary of Health and Human Services.
A committee memo obtained Friday by CNN indicates committee members want to discuss the use of a car and driver that Daschle didn't disclose on his income taxes, and nonpayment of taxes on more than $80,000 he earned in consulting fees after leaving the Senate.
Daschle emphasized to Baucus and Grassley in the letter that "My mistakes were unintentional."
But two senior Democrats, both members of the Senate Finance Committee, have made public statements of support for Daschle despite his tax troubles.
"Tom Daschle has dedicated his life to public service. I have every confidence that he will be a great Secretary of Health and Human Services," said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. "I look forward to working with him to finally deliver real health care reform for the American people."
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said he considers the matter resolved. "Months ago, Tom personally and proactively addressed the taxes issue and took all necessary steps to correct his innocent error," Kerry said. "I've known Tom Daschle for years and he is a man of great character and integrity who will do a superb job in helping us fix our healthcare system. I look forward to his speedy confirmation."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Democrats will begin running a series of radio ads Tuesday targeting 28 Republicans who voted against President Obama’s economic recovery plan.
It is the latest political ad campaign launched in the past week directly related to the stimulus bill. The weeklong radio campaign coincides with a more direct voter contact approach designed to reach three million people through email and another 100,000 by telephone, according to an official with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
One of the ads accuses Republicans of helping to bail out banks, while another highlights support for rebuilding schools in Iraq, and then casting a vote against the stimulus package. The Republican congressmen are mentioned by name in the ads that run in their districts.
Not one Republican supported the bill when it came up for a vote in the House, because they argued it was flawed by among other things, wasteful spending. But it still passed, because of the Democratic Party's strong majority in that chamber. The Senate begins debate on it Monday.
Full list of Republican's targeted after the jump
President Barack Obama's choice to oversee health care reform in his administration expressed regret Monday to Senate leaders over tax issues that are dogging his nomination.
U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg won't take the job of commerce secretary in the Obama administration if his appointment would tip the Senate balance of power in favor of Democrats, the chamber's Republican leader said Sunday.
On Thursday, Rush Limbaugh, the moral and intellectual leader and most influential person in the Republican Party in the United States, wrote in the august op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal, the acknowledged epicenter of right-wing thought, that President Obama should adopt a bipartisan solution to address the president's economic stimulus plan - or as Limbaugh refers to it, "porkulus."
President Barack Obama poked fun Saturday night at his chief of staff and ribbed Washington's elite during a black-tie dinner at Alfalfa Club, a 93-year-old Washington social club.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rang in the new year still saddled with $5.9 million in debts left over from her unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, according to records filed Saturday with the Federal Election Commission.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Sunday expressed confidence that the economic stimulus plan could help her state recover from the financial crisis, but she said Michigan needs the funds now.
House Democrats will begin running a series of radio ads Tuesday targeting 28 Republicans who voted against President Obama’s economic recovery plan.
(CNN) - Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Sunday expressed confidence that the economic stimulus plan could help her state recover from the financial crisis, but she said Michigan needs the funds now.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Granholm cited a report by Mark Zandi, the cofounder of Moody's Economy.com, which said the stimulus plan would create more than 150,000 jobs for her state.
"Believe me, we are all about jobs. Those 140,000 jobs that were lost this past week, we see the impact of this every day, and I'm speaking not just for Michigan, but for governors across the country," the Democratic governor said. "We need help. We need it now. And it's not about budgets, it's about creating jobs in our states."
Asked her opinion on the more than $800 billion stimulus bill moving through Congress, Granholm said, "If things are in there that are not related to job creation, it should perhaps be in other bills. But this bill should be related to job creation and helping people get through this economic crisis."
She said her idea of a "good balance" is "a third toward making sure people are not being hurt, a third toward investing in job creation and a third towards tax cuts."