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.

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

    Hey Barak,

    Get control of your party.

    You admitted today that you should not have let congres write the bill in the first place. Wow. Another mistake by a naive boy who would be king.

    February 4, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. EZ

    All you naysayers are really something else. ALL you seem to do is balk about everything President Obama does, but you know what? That's NOT surprising coming from people who have nothing better to do than talk trash and bark criticism UNTIL the catastrophe hits close to home!! Then all of a sudden you're crying the blues.

    If you Republican morons want to follow your DO NOTHING GOP Party, then go ahead. Knock yourselves out. But don't say you weren't warned and don't say you didn't know what the consequences were when it's YOU who loses a job, or it's YOU to loses your house or it's YOU who can't afford healthcare, etc.

    If you don't WANT our economy to get better then KEEP DOING and KEEP THINKING those some old tired and GOP idealism of blame and blame.

    February 4, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Matthew

    New poll out on Mr. Obamas popularity.

    Barak you are down to 66% today.

    Michelle is already crying and packing up the house. Bring the truck back.

    February 4, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. stag

    Spend, spend, spend. Sounds like W is back. Okay, BHO, where is the change?

    February 4, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. down with corporate politics

    then: change, hope, hearts and flowers

    now: threats, fear, vetos, and new enemies

    February 4, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. ray

    I WISH AND PRAY EVERYDAY THAT I WAKE UP ONE MORNING AND GET THE GOOD NEWS ALL REPUBLICANS HAS VANISHED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH AND THAT WILL BE THE MOST BLESSED DAY FOR ALL AMERICANS. THESE REPUBLICANS ARE ALL OBSTRUCTIONIST AND DESTRUCTIVE PEOPLE.

    February 4, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Locke

    I, for one, don't like the alarmist arm twisting. Reminds me too much of Bush and his constant "fear everything" justification for all his mistakes.

    But, it seems (and seems is the operative word here) that Obama is trying to meet the republican concerns. I agree it seems there is a lot of garbage in that bill that the republicans are rightfully trying to weed out, but I think it is also fair to hold their feet to the fire.

    February 4, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Robert

    I can't understand why people don't look at history. Tax cuts haven't worked for the last 30 years. Large government spending is what lifted this country from the great depression and other recessions. And folks, our debt is no where near what it was around WWII and the 20 years that followed were prosperous.

    February 4, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. yasmine

    Obama has done more in 2weeks than Bush has done in 4years....Clinton had the same issue.. with repubs... and his plan put us in the black after his 8years... people.. Bush had dug us sooooooooooooooo far in a whole... money has to be spent to get us OUT...

    February 4, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Matthew

    DEMS.
    You failed to watch GIBBS and his press conference today.

    We (whitehouse) should not have let the house write the current bill or at least we should have stood over their shoulders while they were writing it.

    ummmm. Sounds like Barak does not like what Nancy Pelosi put together either. Sorry what ever you dems say at this point it moot. Your guy Barak admits he made another mistake.

    February 4, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. DEMwits

    The catastrophe is all the pork barrel spensing in the stimulus package which is in no way, shape, or form related to activities which will actually "stimulate" economic production and growth.

    The libtards don't bother to read the fine print on what they are signing up for...just follow Obama and the Dem leadership like sheep down the path of fraud, waste, and abuse...

    February 4, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. ginger

    For all the bickering back & forth, please stop and asks yourselves how did America end up in this mess?

    President Obama has been in office 13 days. Did he create this economic melt-down? No he did not. George Bush 2001-2008 created this mess with the Republican policies.

    February 4, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Bill P

    I have not been a starry-eyed supporter of President Obama up to this point, but I think he has taken the step that can expedite the end of the financial crisis...the limit on executive compensation. The Goldman Sachs CFO now says that they are going to repay their loan asap to get out from under the restrictions that accompany bailout $. These CEO's and other execs are going to figure out how to clean this mess up so they can get their unconscionable pay levels restored. By doing that they may actually earn what they are paid.

    February 4, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. S Callahan

    I agree we are headed downward in the economy without action ....
    It won't be long before everything bubbles to the surface.... I don't think this is a fear tactic...I think it's reality and has been simmering long before Bush was in office....it's just now at the top of what it can stand.

    Be wise, seek God in all things....you won't solve this with human thinking.

    February 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Sarty

    Failed and greedy Republicans. Always a drama with these idiots. Your days are coming closure. For once in your life, put American people first. I

    February 4, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Kathy

    The catastrophy is having this nut in office.

    February 4, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. Me in San Diego

    The only catastrophe is the President we elected.

    February 4, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. RJ

    Bridgette-PA February 4th, 2009 4:22 pm ET

    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!
    -------------------------------
    54% of the popular vote is hardly a landslide.
    It's marginal at best. In most polls, it would barely meet the standard deviation of +/- 3% accuracy.

    February 4, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Didn't we hear this 'sky is falling' scenario a few months ago for the bank bailout? Well they rushed a bill through, and it proved that if you want a bill bad enough, you'll get a bad bill. No one knows where the money went, so $350 billion just disappeared. Now Obama wants to do it again. How about taking the time to do it right? This is pretty easy. Take out the pork and the bill will get bipartisan support.

    February 4, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Ellie

    Can't the Republicans see what their policies have done to this country? It is as if they are trying to destroy us. A Republican on the Situation room tried to side track the talk on the stimulus and he said the Republicans have kept Americans safe. Safe from what? After eight years of their rule, this country is in deep trouble.

    February 4, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. mack

    what a drama queen! obama has no leadership at all. he has no idea what he is doing. does anybody know whats in this "stimulus" package. There is less than 15 percent stimulus in it anywhere. This is a "spend your tax dollars" package. so ACORN can prosper. and the government can have new cars and new buildings. give me a break. they don't care about us. obama is just getting this money to pay back the people who got him into office.

    February 4, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. gerry

    oslama to the workers you are getting nothing just the unemployed and wasters alike ...students want loans so the can get qualified and then the will be skilled workers and then the will get nothing why not just be come a construction worker as long as your not white u will be ok stay inemployed be a waister and our lord obama will take care of u

    February 4, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Jeff from Jersey

    It's pathetic that republcans refuse to help americans.They'll help any country and all of it's people if their friends are allowed to exploit it's resources but they won't help the people that are in desperate need of help in their own country.They've had their backs turned to their fellow americans for far too long and,in the end,even their rich friends stand to lose BILLIONS because the people of this country can no longer afford to buy their goods and services.The sharks among them are buying up properties from banks for pennies on the dollar as fast as people get evicted from them,they want these same people to vote for them when they consistently dessert them,and yet the idiots DO vote for them again and again.If the republicans refuse to support the President's plan,anyone that votes for a single one of them should have THEIR homes and jobs taken from them and given to those that are losing theirs because of republican neglect.Too bad we can't just sieze the property of these Senators and put THEM out of work and homeless for a change!

    The only way to keep this country moving in the right direction is to vote anyone that votes against this immediate relief plan out of office and KEEP them out of office for good!Keep a list of them all and campaign for ANYONE that runs against them.It's time to finish the job of taking our country back!

    OUST ANY SENATOR OR CONGRESSMAN THAT VOTES AGAINST THIS IMMEDIATE RELIEF OR THEY WILL FINISH THE COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF OUR ECONOMY!REMEMBER WHO THEY ARE AND MAKE THEM JOBLESS!THIS DISASTER IS A DIRECT RESULT OF REPUBLICAN CONTROL AND THEY SHOULD ALL BE SWEPT OUT OF OFFICE!
    THEY ARE THE ONES RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    February 4, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. E.J. in Tacoma

    Come on Republicans we gave Bushonimics a chance for 8 years and he blew it big time. No plan will please everybody but at least we can give our current administration the benefit of the doubt. Obama won the election by a pretty big margin we can at least give him bipartisan support and help in his efforts to clean up the mess left by the Bush/Cheney administration. The majority voted for change let's see if we can trust our hearts now!!
    E.J.in Tacoma

    February 4, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. obama all the way

    republicans had their chance, look what they gave us, it's time for Obama's plan to be put into place.

    February 4, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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