February 4th, 2009
03:57 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama warns of turning a 'crisis into a catastrophe'

 President Obama says Congress must act without delay on his economic plan.
President Obama says Congress must act without delay on his economic plan.

(CNN) - President Obama warned Wednesday that failure to act immediately on his economic aid plan "will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession."

"Millions more jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered. More dreams will be deferred," Obama said, as Senate debate continued on amendments to the stimulus package.

Watch: President, Geithner discuss the economy

The House last week passed an $819 billion version of the plan, but no Republican voted in favor of it. The president has been trying to gain Republican support before the Senate votes on its version of the bill.

Debate on amendments to the bill is expected to last all week in the Senate. A vote could come as early as Friday.

Republicans are calling for a plan with more tax cuts and less spending. They also want more emphasis on helping homeowners. One Republican proposal could double the tax credit for home buying from $7,500 to $15,000.

Obama has said he wants to make sure Republican ideas are incorporated into the final legislation, but he said Wednesday that Congress should "not make the perfect the enemy of the essential" and brushed off recent criticism of the plan.

Full story


Filed under: Congress • economic stimulus • President Obama
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Peter

    It will unless we do something now

    February 4, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. better get on it now

    less talking more action

    get to work, no more superbowl parties, time to work on a solution

    I say give the stimulus to us, the people, we can jump start the economy way better than these near failure companies can

    following good money after bad is getting us nowhere

    February 4, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Matt

    Finally! President Obama has come to his senses! I voted and worked for him for his ideas, not the republican ideas that led us to this problem! Change is what we need these republican senators need to realize that john McCain lost and his ideas were not the ones the American people wanted!

    February 4, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. carlo

    The Republicans sit on the Hill and pretend like people aren't really losing their jobs, people really aren't losing their health insurance, people really aren't losing their homes. Perhaps the people THEY know aren't losing anything, but most of us are. I'm personally sick of Democrats and Republicans on the Hill bickering, with our President the only adult in the entire area who actually listens to the other side and tries to accommodate. For all of those saying that he should just run over them, he told us that he would be bipartisan. I guess some of you didn't understand that.

    February 4, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Ernie in LA

    Obama just wants to pass his pork package.

    February 4, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    This is what they (Big Brother Government) told us on the last bailout plan, act now or it will be the gloom and doom. Well they did act, and we still got gloom and doom, the only ones saved were the wealthy crooks who caused this mess. This plan is no different full of pork for all of the special interest groups, lobbyists, and big corporate campaign contributors, NOTHING for the main street American citizen, other than loss of jobs, loss of homes, and hunger.
    I Say again NO Bailouts for WALL STREET, no more spending in the red, no more printing of money we do not have, we want our FREEDOM BACK!

    February 4, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Matt

    "Tax cuts" = "quick, Obama is going to make them limit executive compensation if they take more bailout money, so let's make sure they get millions/billions in tax cuts that they can spend on themselves without governmetn oversight"

    morons...tax cuts still reduce the amount of money the government has to work with...and if you think giving these people more money to play with via tax cuts (after they spent $20B of OUR MONEY on bonuses) will result in them magically growing a collective conscience and spending it in a responsible manner to help out the lower and middle classes, then you are a complete and utter FOOL

    February 4, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. patNY

    Obama won, the Dems control Congress, so Republicans, time to shut up, just vote no, the bill will pass anyway, and stand back while the Dems fix your mess, once again!

    February 4, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Robin

    Cut out the pork and it will get passed.

    February 4, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. patNY

    Ok, I will try this again...get with it moderators!

    Obama won, the Dems control Congress, so Republicans, time to shut up, just vote no, the bill will pass anyway, and stand back while the Dems fix your mess, once again!

    February 4, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Kornelia Tamm

    just do it for crying out loud, you are the PRESIDENT, act like a PRESIDENT

    February 4, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Outspoken

    That's it B.O. Use scare tactics and anxiety about the economy to justify the conversion to socialism and marxism.

    February 4, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. patNY

    comments still waiting moderations? cnn sucks!

    February 4, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. No Incumbents 2010

    The catastrophe is – The longer we wait to shove this down America's throat, the longer the American people have to think how wrong it is and the less the American people will favor it.

    February 4, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Diana Ewing NJ

    That all sounds good, but people who have No jobs, how are they going to take advange of the home buying credit.. when they are worried about food on the table..

    A TAX CUT ON ZERO INCOME IS ZERO.. THIS HELPS VERY FEW... AND NOT THE UNEMPLOYED OR UNDER EMPLOYED.

    It does not help getting their kids through school, medical needs

    February 4, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Economics 101

    Sorry Mr.Prez
    The American people are not buying it...This bill will have alot more republican ideas than you ever thought.

    By the way James Carville was right democratic scandals will bring the dems down!!!..This administration has awakened a sleeping giant. The conservative party!!!! yes!!!!

    February 4, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Matt

    Tax cuts still reduce the amount of money the government has to work with...and if you think giving giant corporations more money to play with via tax cuts (after they spent $20B of OUR MONEY on bonuses) will result in them magically growing a collective conscience and spending it in a responsible manner to help out the lower and middle classes, then you are a LIAR. The GOP just wants to make sure of two things:

    1. That corporations can use tax cut money to avoid accepting bailout money with Obama's compensation limiting conditions; and

    2. They want Obama to have less tax revenue/budget with which to get anything done so you can claim he failed...because if things get really bad, they think we'll blame Obama for our suffering (you see, it's necessary for us to suffer in their minds).

    February 4, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Diana Ewing NJ

    Matt, Listening to John McCain just yesterday, he does not know he lost...

    February 4, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Dylan from MN

    Republicans no longer have any good ideas, that's why we voted them out. Pass the bill, we're all in fear of losing our jobs if we haven't already!

    February 4, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Ted in NC

    Throwing another trillion or two down the drain will definitely convert the "crisis" into a "catastrophe". Yet that is what he wants to do. So I'm confused.

    February 4, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Ken in Dallas

    We're losing half a million jobs a month right now. If we continue as we are, that's 6 million jobs gone this year. Since we're at 7.2% unemployment with 4.7 million unemployed now, another 6 million jobs lost will bring us up to around 18% unemployment.

    Obama's still soft-pedaling how bad the economy really is.

    Incidentally, ANY spending that gets workers off unemployment and onto payrolls is real stimulus. IRS collections are down between 4% and 5% year-over-year, which is more than the difference between 4% and 7% unemployment.

    February 4, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Baze

    I love his steadfastness here. He has his beliefs, and the American people voted for those beliefs. The G.O.P. is studded with a bunch of old minds that have no vision. They can't see past oil and bombs, and it's only by default that they're for roads and bridges. They don't even think it's worth spending money reparing the river banks in the mid-west, nor do they see how upgrading office buildings will create jobs. Talk about narrow minded!

    February 4, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. beetlejuice

    If Obama can get a job in the economic "catastrophe" WE ALL CAN! He really is a Republican, you can tell by the way he ALWAYS wants to work with them! It's obvious! Why else would he try to turn a "crisis into a catastrophe", if not to blame it on his Democratic self! It's the perfect plan! Don't be fooled

    February 4, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Bridgette-PA

    CHOP, CHOP, DO IT NOW! DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE REPUBLICANS, THEY DIDN'T VOTE FOR YOU ANYWAYS AND YOU STILL WON BY A LANDSLIDE!

    February 4, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Matt

    Suck it up everyone. The GOP is planning on doing just that. You see, they want us to suffer for 4 years. It's our punishment for electing a Democrat and they think that by forcing us all to suffer for the foreseeable future, we'll all be angry and blame Obama. It's really too bad THEY LEARNED NOTHING from November 4, 2008. RIP GOP.

    February 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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