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.
A stimulus is needed, but NOT the version as it stands. The republicans are correct about all the wastefull spending in the bill. The dems need to hold off on trying to push their agenda and get the economy growing. First things first!
To all the people talking about the wasteful spending of the Bush administration due to the Iraq war.... This stimulus bill is more than all the spending for the Iraq war over its entire 6 year life. Dont listen to me though, look it up.
Obama, as Sarah Palin pointed out, has never run anything-not as a Mayor, a Governor or businessman. His lack of management skills is showing up quickly as the stimulus bill is a mess and out of control and he hired at least 4 people with major tax and pay for play problems.
Obviously he's learning "on the job" how to manage people. Let's hope this doesn't kill us when it comes to him handling Al Qaeda.
Once the GOP starts playing hard ball, it might become extremely polemical for the entire Dem gang to forge ahead with the plan. I am not sure whether or not this disputatious and dilatory tactics of the GOP will be worth winning accolades. Let the battle continue, nevertheless.
Republicans, please add a couple mil for impeachment of that awful person in the white house.
Who needs to worry about foreign Islamic terrorists coming to our shores to destroy America, we have republicans hell-bent on doing the same, but from the inside.
What would be wrong with the President walking into the Capitol to meet with Congress even in joint session to hammer out the stimulus and get it out the door??? This slow motion stuff may be normal politics but we live in an abnormal time. The President has already visited once but nothing was acomplished, this time he mustn't leave until the deal is done!!!
More important ..for the people...did you get rid of the 'junk' in the stimulus?
All Obama has to do is take out the non-stimulus pork and reach a true bipartisan compromise and he will have a stimulus bill on his desk.
Phil - you are such a negative person who obviously are not for bringing this country back. If the Republicans didn't vote to impeach the Former President Bush who drove this country into a recession and unjust war, then they certainly shouldn't vote President Obama after 3 weeks in office and he making changes. Get over losing and get a life.
PRESIDENT OBAMA, I AM AND OPTIMISTIC SKEPTIC, THAT IS WHAT KEEPS ME GROUNDED YOUR PLAN TO SPEND SO MUCH MONEY IS JUST SCARING THE HELL OUT OF ME. THE LIBERALS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL ALWAYS BE WILLING TO DRAG EVERYONE DOWN TO A EVEN LEVEL INSTEAD OF LIFTING AS MANY UP AND LET THE WEALTH FLOW TO AS MANY AS POSSIBLE. JUST REMEMBER YOU ARE A POLITICIAN NOT AND EVANGALIST. YOU AND I BOTH KNOW THAT QUESTION IS CAN YOU ADMIT TO IT?
Well said. Now all of a sudden the Republicans care about spending when Bush and his administration ran this great country to the ground.
Kevin, come on use your head.
You think the spending on the iraq war is comparable at all to the stimulus package?! ha the package is to create jobs, help americans, and fix the economy. The war was a right wing mistake condemned by the whole world but we did it anyways on faulty intelligence and false pretenses. it has lasted 6 years and killed hundreds of thousands (im counting innocent iraqis. be smart
The President should address a joint session of Congress and entertain questions to get 'er done!!! He may even start something new like the Brits in Parliment!!!
Phil Haselton February 5th, 2009 9:59 am ET: It's going to be a long 4 years for you isn't it ? Impeachment for someone in office 15 days, and has done more to help the country than the prior administration who were just putting a cabinet together. But someone who runs the country into the ground for 8 yrs get s American killed , lied about getting the person responsible for 9/11 among other things and has no regrets about it. What should their punishment be a week at Club Med? I bet you think he kept us safe because you have to take your shoes off at the airport.
Elephants playing hard-ball? Yeah!! Bring it on!! Obama has had it for 2-3 years, climbing the most CRAZY primary and general elections. I have faith he's only going to get better.
And people, we got rid of the SIth and Darth Vader. Let's not go back there. Dont let the dark side of the force win! Use your God-given talents to prevail over the calls of disunity.
The real (and only) purpose of stimulus packages is to make politicians look good in the short-term so they can get re-elected. In the long-term, they just weaken out economy and leave us (or rather our children) in deeper and deeper debt. We would be wiser to take the money and pay off some of the national debt. (I said the exact same thing when Bush proposed them.)
All these voters think they will get "free" benefits from this package. Someone will have to PAY for it!
It's funny how the ELEPHANTS took out measures to upgrade the State Dept, but for the last 8 years, they approved measures to build a 800 million base in Iraq. Is that wasteful spending or what? You dont want to spend to improve America, but you'll spend it in the land of the CAMELS?
$800 billion, then $850B, now $930B!!!! All in the course of a couple of weeks! Pres Obama doesn't even know what he wants, how much it will cost, or how he's going to repay it!
No more of our children's and grandchildren's money should be spent for our ills. This generation "could" be another "Greatest Generation" if we tightened our belt and sacrificed to get through this. Instead, we want to keep the essentials in life: our iPhones, Wiis, 3-car garages, satellite connections, flat screen TVs, etc.
If this was a bill to go to WAR every republican would be on board.
But, it's a bill to help our country, so, they won't vote....many won't even show up to vote.
We need a headcount and names!
Hey Phil... did you mean add a couple mill for prosecution of that criminal that WAS in the White House?
Funny, how all you Republicans were so tongue-tied and couldn't speak up while Dubya was raping our country and spending government money like he had a bottomless credit card.... but now all of a sudden you're fiscally responsible again? hahahaha
Like anybody's going to believe Republicans are authorities on spending control after allowing Dubya free rein for unlimited spending over the last 8 years. What a joke!!!!!!!
Tax breaks for the wealthy haven't stimulated our economy over the last 8 year or even since Reagan. Your trickle-down theory is a complete and total failure.
Time to let Obama have the same opportunity you guys gave Dubya. So shut up and let him work...
Did you all miss the words "moderate Democrats" in the part of article about opposition or is it just so much easier for you not to see them and blame only the Republicans?
Well... good but severe consequences for not obeying the rules need to be included in the bill. Including and beyond paying back any stolen funds that are not actually used to keep people employed.
Those funds have been allocated for the upcoming investigation and criminal trial of your BFF Dick Cheney., who still thinks he has a say and a role in the Whitehouse.
But speaking of impeachment, had we impeached Bush & Cheney, there would be no need for a stimulus...
So how's your investment portfolio looking these days under the Bush tax code of 2000-2008? How many for sale signs are in your subdivision and more importantly...ARE YA STILL WORKING? If alls fine in your world, are you sure your last name is Haselton and not Haliburton? RLMAOF
Phil Haselton February 5th, 2009 9:59 am ET
Republicans, please add a couple mil for impeachment of that awful person in the white house