WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mayors from across the country descended on the nation's capital Wednesday with a clear message to Washington that their cities were in urgent need of an immediate economic stimulus.
Miami, Florida, Mayor Manny Diaz, president of the nonpartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors, led the delegation of mayors, whose first meeting of the day was with top White House senior advisers.
Later Wednesday, Diaz and other mayors are scheduled to attend meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and other key congressional leaders.
The U.S. Senate is debating a nearly $900 billion economic stimulus package backed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Senate Republican leaders are pushing for a bill with more tax cuts and less spending. They also have said they want more emphasis on helping homeowners.
Los Angeles, California, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, told reporters that "it's time to stop the bickering and start the tough negotiating to get this bill out to ensure that the American people in our cities get the relief that they need right now."