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. Bob in Pa

    Big O, this piece of pork is rotten! Time to throw it out and start with something fresh.

    February 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. obama-mama

    With the rethuglicans holding up the package no telling when this will be resolved.....I hope their ready for the backlash.

    February 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Laverne

    We are with you Mr. President. They have a big bark and a little bite! It is time for the American people to keep this training moving and if you get in the way, then oh well!

    February 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Ray Fisher

    The President should simply remove everything the Republicans do not like in the stimulus and vote on the darn thing. People are becoming homeless and stanving and we don't want our suicide rate to skyrocket. Americans are unprepared as a whole to fend for themselves as many can't even cook without microwave instructions. We can't baby everyone forever but for the short term we can provide a cushion till they learn some survival skills!!!

    February 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. buggywuggy

    Nice comment beetlejuice! Where were you during the election? You have my vote:)

    February 4, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    I find it interesting that the Republicans suddenly are touting "less spending". Excuse me, where were these "less spending" Republicans the last 8 years when they literally gave George Bush & Dick Cheney the keys to the federal money house with absolutely no oversight whatsoever?????

    I do think there are some things that could be taken out of this stimulus bill, but I just find it ironic that the Republicans have suddenly become such phony baloney "fiscal conservatives" with our tax dollars. If they had taken that attitude 6-7-8 years ago, we wouldn't be in the situation we're in these days.

    February 4, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Just shut up!

    Shut up Obama. Read about the great depression and learn that what you're saying isn't true.

    "Republican ideas that led us to this problem." Go back and study the Clinton administration Matt. Bush was an idiot by proliferating the problem, but this is not a Republican problem.

    February 4, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Michael

    screw the Republicans – all they know how to do is steal!

    February 4, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Baze

    better get on it now February 4th, 2009 4:12 pm ET

    "less talking more action

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

    Jesus, I'd hate for you to be my boss!

    February 4, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Robin

    Cut the pork and it will get passed.

    February 4, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. YES WE CAN

    Good job today Mr. President on wanting to cap big money bonuses to be no higher than 500K.

    No other president would have done that.

    February 4, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. President-in-Training

    I think a $1 trillion spending be would be the REAL CATASTROPHE!!

    February 4, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Dana from NY

    Tax credit for home buying when no one can buy a home- or sell their current one is a mute point- stop wasting time Republicans and just get on board with this- that tax credit is just rediculous at this point- and of course more tax cuts and less INVESTING into job creation- its not spending its investing- Tax cuts are wasteful and contribute to nothing!

    February 4, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. offwallst

    Several world leaders think your administration is a joke

    Pelosi what a joke.says americans losings jobs at the rate of 500million a month. Dont believe it go to drudge report.

    The Glow is fading

    February 4, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. terry

    So,Obama's magic wand is spending billions and billions of tax payers money to stimulate the economy????? I was wondering what his new and different plan would be. George Bush should sue for plagiaism....

    February 4, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. LP

    Matt, you are a very wise man. Republicans tend to forget that they had a chance to make their case and the people voted them out! So, it's time for them fall in line behind are President. :)

    Let's Get Busy Mr. President.

    February 4, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Lush Limprick the REAL RNC Chairman.

    Not to worry, Mr. President you have told the people the truth and we are taking note of the obstructionist repubs that do not care about the country, just their "tax breaks"!

    Altho, I did listen to Snow on cable and she seems like a reasonable person(I could not bring myself to type reasonable and
    r@#$%^&*#n in the same sentence) and she only had one head and it was not a hydra!

    February 4, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Angie in Pa

    Yes Obama CHANGE CHANGE Thats why we voted for you and what in the Hell are the Republicans thinking Tax cuts for first time Homebuyers hahahah lolo That doesnt create Jobs NO JOB NO BUYING HOUSE ! The republicans are MORONS!

    February 4, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. NObama

    Look who's using fear tactics now...

    February 4, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. lou in Miami

    Do we really have to continue the fail policies of the administration that got us were we are? if the Senate can't do the people business please retire NOW!!! We the people are frustrated looking at you fools let in our country and the world go down the drain. NO MORE TAX CUTS FOR THE UNNEEDED. You republicans can’t do it right so you have to be obstructionists… STOP STOP STOP!!! And let people more qualified complete the task at hand.

    February 4, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. peter

    Obama needs to stop sucking up to them republicans who have no shot at all in the future of ever regaining the presidency because of the high minority vote,for example if the minority vote would have been what is was in 1980 obama who have lost by 6% this november,or if the minority vote would have been 27% in 1980 carter would have beaten reagan,the gop cant ever win back the white-house,the only way they can win it will be if the democrats become divided,thats their only hope,because their voters is only 9% minority,which is a disater,also which means the democrats dont have to govern to the center anymore,but the democrats is acting like they do,this nation will be a one party nation by 2016,the republican party will be history,because they just cant over come that big minority vote,i wish the media would report this,because this is very serious.

    February 4, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Michiganian

    I really wish all the people opposing this would do their homework! There is not pork in this bill-every single project is designed to put someone to work. Any money given to a business has multiple strings (unlike the one the Repubs rushed through under Bush...he was sure looking out for the CEOS in October...and McCain went right along buying votes.) This is a thoughtful bill, and has been gone through by both parties. I really believe Repubs are terrified it will work, in which case they look bad for fighting it.

    This is not socialism, marxism or any other ism...this is a plan to HELP. Get off your high horses those of you fortunate enough not to be worrying about your job or your 401K. Millions are not so lucky, and they need help.
    Not yesterday, right now.

    February 4, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Mike in Houston

    If they think the solution is limiting executive pay, then they haven't a clue. Then again, if they want to limit total executive compensation to that of the Presidents then I would ask:

    What is the value of living for free in the White House?
    What is the value of Secret Service protection for all his family?
    What is the value of having Air Force One as your private jet?
    Whati is the value of having fighter escort when you fly your private jet?

    Put a dollar value on all that and you may find that Wall Steet CEO's may actually be able to argue for a pay raise.

    One thing for sure, NO ONE who has the financial expertise necessary to get the financial sector out of this crises will do it for the pay scale demanded by the President.

    February 4, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Sue

    Mr. Obama has already created another CRISIS!!! Appointed Tax Thieves in HIS regime. Get real Mr. O – does this mean you approve cheating on YOUR taxes???

    February 4, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Citizen from NY

    Perhaps Pres. Obama has yet to realize that the stimulus package includes the "Buy American" clause meaning use U.S. products like U.S. Steel to build/repair our infrastructures, which he opposes. Using U.S. Steel, for example, not only puts our people into jobs building infrastucture, but also puts our people in factories forging our steel. I don't see how he does not get that.

    February 4, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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