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. mark

    Bob in PA. Good idea

    February 4, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Diane

    I thought Obama won the election. Is BUSH still in office? Please DO NOT use his scare WMD tactics.

    February 4, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. The Truth

    Maybe Obumbler and his corrupt administration should have read the bill before trying to shove it down our throats. This bill in its original form was the most idiotic piece of legislation ever brought forth. Nancy Pelosi, David Obey, Barney Frank and whoever else was involved in writing that bill should be escorted to the border and told never to return.

    February 4, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Merl Johnson

    I just heard Lou Dobbs taking about the Protectionism Clause in the Obama bailout package. He was condemning the President for wanting to remove it from the package. Maybe you should tell Lou to pull his head out from in the sand. If I am correct the United States is still is a member of The North American Free Trade Agreement. You know what happpens when you only purchase American make product in the U.S. Than the rest of your trading partners will stop buying American made products in their country. Maybe Lou should go check is fact before he shoots his big mouth off which he does all the time.

    February 4, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Diane

    Mr. Obama ....... WON Nov. 2008 election. We the people voted for CHANGE not more spending!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Diane

    Help ...... Help....... the sky is falling.

    February 4, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. No Hillary = No Obama

    You know it's hard to tell with Obama how much is about his ego getting what it wants and how much isn't.

    February 4, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. Mark

    Dear Democratic Cheerleaders:
    Presidents get far too much blame when the economy is bad and far too much credit when it's going well. The Pres doesn't control the economy. If you think so, I'll be all too happy to blame the Dems for today's stock market losses. You are in control now.

    February 4, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    Tax cuts = donating $ we dont have to OIL companies and elites of Donald Trumps = greedy CEOs offshoring jobs = nobody paying taxes = weak economy = weak national security. How has TAX cuts helped us in the past 8 years? Please explain.

    February 4, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. CHANGE.COM

    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.
    True

    February 4, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    I tell what. Let's consider Rush's idea since both parties are calling for support. 53% of the votes went to HOPE. 46% went to FAITH and lets say 1% went to CHARITY. Given the economic crisis which would the people vote for? HOPE as in change, FAITH as in country first(Faith of our fathers) or CHARITY where the country funds global poverty. Hope this helps put "crisis and disaster" into perspective if that is what Obama believes.

    February 4, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Time will tell

    Everyone has an opinion. Conservatives don't want a stimulus bill that is rushed through with alarmist tactics...the liberals want the entire country to adopt anything Obama proclaims is good...and the independants just want a country that can take the good and discard the bad, while they get to think for themselves.

    Which one are you?

    February 4, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    For those who criticize Pres. Obama and the Democrats (I am an Independent), please keep in mind we have a democracy in this country and that Obama does NOT have one man rule about every single item in the stimulus package.

    We have a Congress, and they are part of the decision-making process. If they "screw up," they are responsible.

    February 4, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Marianne

    Obama has to rush this because if people have time to check out this bill they will know he is fillng it with so much waste and special interest pork. How about the NY times and other papers printing a list of every dollar to be spent and where it is going so the American people can contract their representatives and tell them what to do. We can take our time to get this right. We have to get this right.

    February 4, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Buddy

    Obama Warns Of Turning Crisis Into Catastrophe! He Will!

    February 4, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. Mariaelena

    Somehow, the GOP still doesn't get it. Do they think they'll continue to hold office if they continue to act like petulant children who don't want to take the medicine? Their baloney w/McCain calling for his supporters to push GOP to no votes, and the the RNC sending Cheney in to warn amount dire consequences???Oh, puleez!
    Cheney is just a private citizen, he's entitled to his opiniion, but he's standing in the shoes of Henry Kissinger and may be indicted in several countries as a war criminal. Best he go back home and protect his own finances.

    February 4, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. walter

    Sorry Joanna! But your change doesn't mean OUR change! Apparently we didn't loose anything!! We still got that MOJO!!

    February 4, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. Mark

    SENATOR OBAMA, GET THIS THRU YOUR HEAD, you CANNOT spend your way out of trouble and throw my generation so far into debt. How can you sleep at night knowing that you are ruining my financial future and the financial future of all of our children???

    February 4, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. 2Nurselady

    The MAJORITY of Americans elected Barack Obama to the presidency. We DID NOT want another 4 years of Bush-Republican policies. We need real change – real change the President Obama is working very hard to bring for THE PEOPLE.

    Shame on the Democrats who are giving us, the American People, a hard time on this! I hope people will start making phone calls and otherwise contacting their own representatives and tell them we will not have it. We will vote you out or recall you just as we, here in California, recalled a Democratic governor that we, Democrats, did not think represented us.

    I think President Obama has done an admirable job in trying to reach out to Republicans (Lord knows we got NOTHING from Bush for 8 years – not even a voice!), but Republicans obviously want everything their way. They are obviously not willing to do what the majority of the American people want them to do. There are people losing their jobs and their homes, unable to afford healthcare, unable to put sufficient food on the table, and worrying about how they will make it for another month. It is shameful that the Republicans and the conservative Democrats are stalling this and causing so much additional suffering for the people that pay their salaries!

    February 4, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. Scott L

    Socialist.

    February 4, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  21. Matthew Detroit

    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 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  22. Ryan

    Every time I hear President Obama paint a doomsday picture if his stimulus plan does not get immediately approved always reminds me of the old saying "Haste Makes Waste". It's not that I'm against stimulus, but I think there are many other options if government is willing to think outside the box for ways to directly and indirectly stimulate and strengthen the economy without putting undue hardship on future generations. Case in point: a little more dialogue during the bank bailout may have saved taxpayer millions had the idea of an executive salary cap been incorporated into original legislation in lieu of the current expo-facto proposal.

    February 4, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  23. xavier

    It wont be long before more of these GOP people are voted out of office.

    February 4, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. steve r.

    @ max : It was your Bush/Cheney Administration that got us in this mess!! Iraq,Halliburton,Big oil tax cuts,shipping jobs overseas,signing bailout bill with no oversight. WAKE UP PAL!!!

    February 4, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. marcus2

    Yes, the Republicans are doing what they can to keep millions from working. They don't mind, but I sure do, and that was one reason I didn't vote for them.

    February 4, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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