WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama is privately telling senators in both parties he is confident his economic recovery plan will pass in the Senate by the end of the week, according to two senior administration officials and two congressional officials.
"We will have the votes," said a senior administration official.
In a closed-door meeting Wednesday, the president said that he was "cautiously optimistic" that he could round up at least 60 votes to cut off a possible filibuster, a Senate official added.
The fate of the package has been in some doubt as the president ran into opposition from moderate Democrats and Republicans in the Senate who are concerned about spending projects in the package.
The president stepped up his personal lobbying for the bill this week, holding a series of one-on-one meetings in the Oval Office Wednesday with key senators still on the fence. Obama met separately with Democrat Ben Nelson and Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.
The officials said that in the meetings the president suggested he would accept minor changes to his tax cuts, but was open to pulling more of the controversial spending projects in the bill.
The president also told the senators he was willing to lean on Democratic leaders in the coming days to pare down spending to reach at least 60 votes for bipartisan consensus.
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.
Getting the bill through the Senate by the end of the week would keep the legislation on track to be signed into law by Presidents' Day, which has been Obama's target.
Scary that all the Democrats are lemings running off the Obama cliff. No one on any of the networks representing the Democrats can explain how exactly this will stimulate the economy. You just have to read the details to see this is the biggest spending bill in history that will only marginally stimulate certain sectors of the economy. Obama and the Democrats are just "winging" it and calling all of their spending projects "stimulus". This is why the Republicans and Independents are running clear of this bill, and may actually be able to kill it. At the very least in 2010 this will be a boon for the Republicans in the house and the Congress.
The republicans are engaged in a very deceptive obstruction of President Obama's economic stimulus plan and continue to offer the proven failed tax cuts and other trickle down gimmicks of the rich.
The American people have spoken very clearly in the November election that we demand change and it's time the republicans got on board ot move aside. Another election is coming in two years and the American people won't be fooled by the Obstructionists Republicans who will continue to fade into a fringe party of rich elitists.
A lot of the so-called "pork" in this bill = aid to states that will help prevent additional job losses in schools, courts, jails, and other public agencies that serve all tax payers.
Other so-called "pork" is intended to protect hard-working people who, through no fault of their own, have lost or will lose their jobs.
The rest makes up less than 1% of the entire bill.
You posters that claim this bill isn't economic stimulus, I have one challenge for you:
What does "economic stimulus" mean? What are the criteria by which you decide what is or is not a stimulus?
I presume you who are spouting off that this bill won't stimulate the economy have some kind of answer to this question.
The last stimulus package was a total bust and this one is bigger, more vague and completely one-sided. How about this for creating jobs: Eliminate all federal employment taxes. If it's less expensive for employers to employee people, they will have more employees. That will have a major impact on job growth in a matter of weeks.
I'm a lifelong democrat and I voted for Obama because I believed his message of change and hope after 8 years of Bush. However, after seeing what he has done since being in office (hiring tax cheats, trying to push this wasteful socialist "stimulus" package on us, turning up the thermostat in the WH while telling us to turn ours down). What a hypocrite!!! I hope you all are doing your homework into the “stimulus” package. A 1500 dollar tax credit for ILLEGAL ALIENS??? I'm having buyer’s remorse about Obama. I think we've been had and I’m really worried about the future of this country. I think one party in control is very dangerous (especially with the likes of Pelosi on the Dems side).
And this continues? Nobody seems to know where the first half of the original 'simulus' went,...why I am not surprised?
I am sending my view to you guys too.
The possible (and obvious one) is just STEALING, CORRUPTION , AND DISHONESTY.
My opinion?,...simple, they misused and abused the first half , just the way they originally abused our trust and money before when all started ;....(Fannie,Freddie, and all them crooks and thieves backed by the 'cover-up gang':- Pelosi, Reid, Cox, Dood , and others weeds )
Now , they are PRETENTING an investigation about what happenned – right !,...( like we the people we are going to suck on that one ! ).
Actually I do bleieve they are trying to find ways how to abuse the second half and how to cheat even more the public with this bogus second so called 'stimulus'.
Bottom line , if Obama really wants to be praised and remembered as the true 'mesianinc magic one' ?,...he has to RISK to be an OUTCAST and risk POLITICAL SUICIDE for the call is to get rid of ALL THAT CORRUPTION AND DISHONESTY IN WASHINGTON AND IN THE FINANCIAL SPECTRUM,....the question is ,...WILL HE DO THAT ? I have my doubts on this one.
Have a good day
I'm cautiously optimistic, although I see three actual bills in the list of things in the stimulus package. I see an actual jobs/stimulus and infrastructure spending bill, I see a healthcare package that would improve our medical facilities and increase our national health, and I see a "green" package. I would prefer it if President Obama would separate them out into those groupings, but most of what is in that huge bill is stuff that is necessary.
My biggest objection is the money for the new Homeland Security facility and it's furniture. There is NOTHING in the charter of the Homeland Security boondoggle that is not covered by the FBI, CIA, and the military. I'd say get rid of the whole organization, absorb a lot of the employees into the civilian workforce for the military, FBI and CIA, and upgrade those organizations to better do their jobs.
BO needs to resign immediatly. When Lyndsey Graham the biggest Wimp in the Senate calls you out for not leading you are in way over your head as President. Has BO recommended anything? He has said what he didn't want and he supposedly has listened but as President you have to stick your neck out some of the time and make proposals. HE needs to quit running around like Chicken Little telling everybody the sky is falling and start coming up with ideas. This Tax Cheat Geithner was supposedly so smart that we had to overlook the fact he doesn't pay taxes well where are his proposals? Jimmy Carter will seem like Abraham Lincoln after 4 years of this guy. STOP SPEAKING AND DO SOMETHING!!!
Oh and as for as none stimulus. There are 100s of billions in this bill for Unemployment and Healthcare which will provide all of about zero new jobs. Cut out the tax cut (won't work unless you back date to Corporate taxes for '08). Cut out the frivolous spending. Leave the infrastructure projects in place BUT give to States by the official formulas that exist not the pseudo-pork list from mismanaged states. Some for Alternative energy. All told I think I could do this with about $200 bill and creat jobs short and long term.
He also 'think's' that the house vote was bi-partisan.
Where are all the people that accused Bush of using fear tactics to promote an agenda? Using fear to ram a +1 TRILLION dollar 'thank you' bill down our throats is just plain wrong.
I'll happily accept an efficient and non-wasteful bill. I also realise that it's impossible to get this in a mere two weeks.
I lost my job so I don't give a rat's behind about pork, pig feet, ribs in this package. Just get the cotton picking economy moving.....
Dont blame the elephants,they would never choose to be representative of low life republicans,they are way to smart.