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. Lisa

    I must agree that people with no jobs will not be buying cars, homes or much of anything so a tax cut for making a purchase is not going to help very much. You have to have money to be able to buy something.

    February 4, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. GA Independent

    Everyone needs to contact their Congresscritters and tell them to VOTE, not squabble.

    I don't care which way you want them to vote – Congress needs to understand that we want action and we want it NOW – no more sitting on the fence or playing politics. Clearly our pols do not understand that there is a PROBLEM out here!

    February 4, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Mari

    I see that there are lots of comments from the critics and complainers on the far-right. BUT....... they offer no solutions!

    I want the GOPers to answer this question:

    WHERE WERE YOU 'FISCAL CONSERVATIVES' WHEN BUSH WAS SPENDING OUR NATION INTO..... OBLIVION?????????

    It is easy to complain and criticize, what can we expect from people who listen to haters-liars like Limnbaugh, Hannity, Coulter!

    February 4, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. CHANGE.COM

    "Pork" has become the rallying cry for Republicans for wanting to kill this recovery plan. Pork, like beauty, is indeed in the eye of the beholder. The arts sectors are losing jobs as fast as American factories. Therefore, providing some relief to them is not pork. But some idiots would like you to believe so. Been to your local orchestra or theatre lately? Some have shut down due to lack of funding. Is it not okay to save those jobs and keep people in their homes? Just one example of how "pork" is in the eyes of the beholder.

    February 4, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. jean

    There has to be a better plan I don't believe that anything can jump start this economy and why all of the rushing why all of a sudden is everything rushed and urgent. If the lawmakers would accomplish things during the course of their day we wouldn't have to rush everything. Stop the fighting it is crazy. I am so sick over this administration and our leaders as a whole. I run a household and when we have problems we work them out especially big problems. My view of how Obama was gonna run things was a lot different then what it is; I lost a lot of confidence in his picks having tax problems this is just more of the same I feel betrayed and sold out. I just hope that he doesn't succeed in changing our security cause I am fine with being broke I just don't want to live in fear of terror attacks. Put on your seat belts we are really in for a ride.

    February 4, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. dan

    I love the fact that not one Republican voted for this plan. It just shows you how out of touch they are with reality. There had to be a few that wanted to vote for it, just like there were Democrats who voted against it. But they are to afraid of the whack job right, who have one and only one strategy when it comes to the economy. Cut taxes for the wealthy. Let it trickle down. Doesn't matter that trickle down doesn't work. Do it anyway. What 's the definition of insane. Doing something over and over again, and expecting a different result?

    February 4, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. John

    Mr. President,

    Just stay Focused and Determined in the Right Direction. Every Problem has a Solution when Tacked with Wisdom, Positive Attitude and without Corrupt Intentions. Remember we Elected you due to the Failed Polices of Clowns Bush and Cheney. You have to Do It and we have Confidence You Can Do It and YES WE CAN.

    February 4, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Axel

    The media is at fault here for continually giving credence to the complaints over pork in this bill which amounts to about 1% of the total.

    Our country is teetering on the brink of a DEPRESSION yet the GOP wants to block the bill over issues with 1% of the total. Funny how they have such issues helping regular Americans in regular jobs but when their banking buddies needed $700bn they signed off on it in lightning speed.

    Anyone else notice the double standard ? Anyone ??

    February 4, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Clinton Supporter for Obama

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Well Said Mr. President.

    To Just shut up!: Why don't YOU just shut up! Bill Clinton is not to blame for the crisis we are in. It is the moron you voted for (George W. Bush). So please stop trying to use Bill Clinton as the scapegoat. George W. Bush was in office for 8 years. Within those 8 years he managed to take this country to hell in a handbasket. Please tell me and the other 4.7 million people that are currently unemployed how a tax cut will help them in finding a job. What good are tax cuts if you do not have a job to earn income to benefit from tax cuts!

    February 4, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. cherrystrawberry

    "These criticisms echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place - the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care; that we can somehow deal with this in a piecemeal fashion and still expect our economy and our country to thrive," he said.

    "I reject those theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. So I urge members of Congress to act without delay."

    In other words....I'M THE HNIC!!!!!! Go President Obama! We sttand behnd you

    February 4, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Jackson

    For all of you who think the government should not be interfering with business and the free enterprise system, you are completely out of touch with reality. The government has always been in control with all legitmate businesses from the first license to be issued to the very type of business you wish to engage in. Whether it monitors it to keep it honest and from becoming usurious and extortionate in practice. Socialism is basically what this country is functially. A welfare STATE! THINK! Donot let someone influence if you have been engaged without first following it up.

    February 4, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. lovable liberal

    The Republicans can want all they want. There's no good reason to give them any of it after their doughnut in the House.

    February 4, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. John

    Crisis deepening to catastrophe happened when W gained a second term.

    February 4, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    All this finger pointing about who fault this crisis belongs to, is silly, in the last forty to sixty years we have had one or the other major party in charge, Jimmy Carter actually had the 60 senate votes, but congress still did nothing.
    Democrats, Republicans no difference, both have lost the way of the requirements of the U.S. Constitution. Both parties do not represent the people anymore. Both major parties are playing the people as pawns, while they do what the large corporate campaign contributors, special interest groups, and Lobbyists, tell them to do, while they line their pockets with taxpayer money. This country’s Government is no longer of the people, for the people, and by the people, this nation’s government is no better than England, when the founding fathers risked everything to begin a nation based on freedom and liberty for all, even the poor people.
    I’m a new voice, not a politician but rather an informed voter, who is going to speak, write, and blog about what we all used to have and that is Freedom. And when the people are taxed excessively, then their freedom is taken away.

    February 4, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. becoming very cranky....

    ask californians how well tax cuts help stimulate the economy. 16 years of tax cuts and borrowing to to produce a budget. revenue has come from somewhere, folks.

    February 4, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Glennis

    Until the president and congress come to their senses, get off their lofty perches and look around at reality, we're going to be in far more trouble than we are now allright. They can't seem to come up with a bill that doesn't include all the garbage they can possibley throw into it, whether it's relevant or necessary or not. Obama hasn't got a clue and neither do the loons porking up the stimulus bill. It's a cinch they aren't listening to their constituents. Further, this bill does nothing to address the very real possibility of construction jobs going to illegals. We'd be better off if the governement just got out of our way and out of our pocketbooks!

    February 4, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Hammer

    These messages sound strangely familiar.
    Seems that every time Bush wanted something his speeches were filled with fear nad here we go again if you don't give Obama what he wants the sky will fall. If this is a change I fail to see it.

    February 4, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Kyle Jenkins

    Obama, we experienced the "crisis" on 4 Nov, and the "catastrophe" to this country is that you were elected. Resign, now, and save my country from further destruction.

    February 4, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Neal Klomp

    DO SOMETHING!
    **** republican ideas.
    They lost, end this.

    February 4, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. cgsailor

    Forget party politics and wake up...we're in this mess because Congress, under the leadership of both parties, can't stop spending money that's not really there. The White House writes a budget but it's Congress that executes it and is responsible for the performance. After promising "no pork" in the stimulus bill the leader of the House sets a new record for earmarks that have no "stimulus" value...and the few people that seem to get it are getting steamrolled by the White House. Reid/Pelosi/Obama = recipe for disaster

    February 4, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Sue

    I wish the democrats would stop the crisis and catastrophy lines. It's like a used car salesman or realtor telling you they need a decision fast b/c someone else is interested. Makes me leary.
    BTW, who's been in the majority for the last few years when all this got messed up? The dems.!

    February 4, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. John in Binghamton

    Tax cuts are spending. Its the same thing. Bush has been cutting taxes while increasing spending for years. Yes, wars count as spending too.

    The problem is you just think and do what Rush tells you like sheep.

    You do not cut spending in a recession unless you like being in a recession. The time to cut spending is when the recession is over.

    February 4, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Griff

    Hi! My name is Griff and I am a sad person. The only chance I have to speek my mind is thru this here 'puter. I am so mad at this world that no one likes me and i can only have my stupidd comments posted here on dis here page once in a litte while. I do knot no howl cum i am so bad at the things i due but i'm sure someone can help me find my way forward. "Proven Fact" (as 'the wisest one of all" wood say...........]

    February 4, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Debbie

    During the Carter administration the fair housing bill was created. The Clinton administration introduced new legislation that stated if banks/lending institutions did not lend more money to people who could not afford the loans, the lending institutions would be penalized. President Buck and others brought up the fact that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were in trouble. The DEMOCRATS blocked doing anything about it for years. Because the senate was almost even in numbers, Democrats fillibustered everything. Thus, nothing could be done. Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters all stated that nothing was wrong and fought any attempt to fix the problem. For all you people out there that say this was Bush's fault, you need to look at the fact. IT WAS THE DEMOCRAT'S FAULT. Now with their out-of-control porkulus bill, we will be heading for a great depression. That's change I can believe in.

    February 4, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. umu ule

    Mcain should retire now and immediately too. He is not cuting it at all. when you do stuff over and over again it becomes monotonous and that can lead to a catastrophic deminishing marginal utility. This guy and the like of him has been in this senate for decades and their imput as far as todays economy is concerned is unimportant

    February 4, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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