February 5th, 2009
09:17 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama thinks stimulus will pass Senate by end of the week

Obama has told lawmakers he expects the stimulus to pass this week.
Obama has told lawmakers he expects the stimulus to pass this week.

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.


Filed under: President Obama • stimulus plan
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. M

    ****CNN you can print this – stop censoring my comments***

    I voted for President Obama, but I think there is way too much pork in the this stimulus package as well. The focus of this particular package is to jump start the economy by creating jobs – that is the mission- let mission be the guiding force behind what goes into this package.

    Look at some of the crap in this package:

    $448 million constructing Homeland Security building (rennovate an old building).

    $248 million on furniture (scrap the Natuzzi leather).

    $850 million for Amtrak (is this going to move us towards an interstate rail system?).

    $400 million CDC to screen & prevent STD (too much – advocate harshly more responsibilty)

    $75 million for smoking cessation activities (no way – raise the cig tax to pay for this).

    These are all good examples of unfrugal & unexplained spending! I don't see the link to job creation.

    February 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Vegas

    I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the economy.....and the events of 9/11.

    Remember the proposed purpose of the attacks on the WTC? To hit our economic system? To weaken our economy to the point of weakening or even destroying our country?

    We bounced back so well after the attacks that we all thought Bin Laden and his followers had failed. But, have they?

    We are a nation of people who operate in the immediate, not the long term. Any immediate impact on our economy or stability was overcome. However, we failed to look at the long term. Bin Laden probably counted on a US attack on the Taliban. He knew we would not sit by after attcking us on our own soil with our own airplanes. He may have counted on the US not giving up until we found him and brought him to justice for his actions. He may not have expected Iraq but that may have been an added bonus which only sped up any plans for the economic ruin of the US.

    Maybe I'm giving Bin Laden too much credit. But, when so many include the Afghan and Iraq wars as contributing factors to our current economic woes, it's hard not to believe that it might be possible.

    February 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. GOP Stimulus Plan

    Its no longer the Obama stimulus package. The GOP is slowly dissecting and cutting the unnecessary spending hidden in the Package.
    Obama needs to learn to lead by example. You can not say your going to "Change" Washington when all your cabinet picks are Washington insiders.
    You can say your going to spend your way out of a recession when half of your cabinet picks are crooks who cheat on their taxes.

    This is what happens when you vote to make history instead of the experience and character of a human being.

    February 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Tom in Delaware

    And monkeys will fly out of my butt.

    February 5, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. booslc utah

    We can recover from this economic crisis if we can improve the confidence of the public. People will have confidence to spend again if they have no fear that they will lose their job any time soon. Stimulus should go to keep the job such as tax relief for companies that do not lay off their employees. Employees should prepare to take a freeze on pay increase or a pay cut of 5 or 10% at this time. It is better to have a secured job with 5% less pay than having to constantly worrying about one's job.
    All the unemployment news that strike the fear in people from spending. It is nothing more stimulating than having a job. We need to stop all these unemployment news and come up with positive news of stimulus measure to stop further job lost.

    February 5, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Debby

    Well look at it this way if its approved and tanks then you know what kind of Pres. Obama will be the next 4 years and that goes the same if it succeeds and hellps the economy.

    February 5, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Bipartisan

    CNN- You really need to get a new group of moderators to run this ticker. Some stories they keep open all day and accumulate hundreds of posts. Other stories they keep open for 20-30 min. and close it after 12-13 posts. What gives?

    February 5, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Chipster

    Unfortunately, the Republicans came out of the gate poised to undermine the new President. It might have been beneficial to the country for the them to make an effort to work with him but, as Rush put it, he wants him (us) to fail.

    Obama should get this package approved as soon as possible, with or without, Republican cooperation. It's simply too important to invest in short and long term stimulus now and then turn to the job of turning 3rd grade officials into adults. (apologies to 3rd graders who will behave and play nice when it's in their best interest to do so)

    February 5, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Thomas

    Hey Kevin, what price to you put on the loss of over 4,000 american military lives for absolutely nothing? That alone would eclipse the cost of any stimulus bill. And also you forgot to mention the fact that this stimulus is for the good of american people and our economy, you and Bush Administration have yet to let us know what the Iraq war is being for for! See if you can look that up and help us to understand it!!!

    February 5, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. john

    Republicans are the bunch of idiots; because they are opposition party doesn’t mean they have to oppose all agendas, which comes from democrat. I think this is the right way to put Americans back to work before it is too late.

    February 5, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. tony

    kevin,

    The stimulus bill is still less than the 5 trillion dollars of debt that the Bush administration piled up in eight years, partly to pay for the Iraq war that turned out to be based on false intelligence and unjustified, and distracted us from the real war of terror against the people in Afghanistan who actually attacked us on 9/11, partly to pay for the Bush tax cuts that did not appear to help the economy, and partly to bail out banks and financial institutions that turned around and gave its employees huge bonuses. For our effort to liberate Iraq, the Iraqi now want us out by 2011. In other words, they want to be liberated from us. What makes more sense, spending money to liberate people in other countries who did not seem to appreciate our effort, or spending money at home to bail out the sinking economy that the Bush administration left us?

    February 5, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. Matthew Detroit

    Keep hoping Obama. You are naive. There are plenty of Democrats in the Senate that think Barak doesnt know what he is doing.

    Barak ask Michelle for help.

    February 5, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  13. Bipartisan

    Patrick from Indianapolis is an idiot. Communists in the '50s didn't attack Manhattan and bring down two huge buildings killing thousands. Maybe he should go "read a book" and educate himself.

    Patrick you sound like an angry, frustrated kid. Stay in school.

    February 5, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. ginger

    I have a question: How many of President Obamas critics have actually read the 656 package? It's online for all to read, digest, and then given an opinion.

    The Republicans are full of it. Their party stood by and allowed our country to get in this mess. Now all of a sudden they have all the right solutions.

    And for the all critics who are bashing our President, think you could do a better job? Then run for office and turn this nightmare around.

    February 5, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Well someone has to do something. The Bushies certainly did NOTHING for the little guy. Give Obama a chance....Christ!, he's only been in the office less than a month. Things will get worse before they get better, just like the so-called Cold War Domino effect the was predicted, only this time it is for real.....It will take time to rebuild our economy.

    February 5, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Kimberly

    First off, the only reason this is having a problem is because the whining sour grapes LOSER reoukes are so bent on doing what will NOT work, as shown by the election, and that is pandering to the fringe of the party like limbaugh and his listeners. Obviously they should not listen to them it cost them the election by HUGE HUGE numbers! They are now using joe the NOT plumber idiot for advice! Thats true! I just read that, I mean do the repukes have a suicide pack with each other? It seems to me that they are just useless, whining and petty. They need to step aside and let the REAL power in Washington take the country back to the Clinton day, and forget the bush years!

    February 5, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. ohio man

    The people that cry so LOUD about too much spending did not have a problem when lil Bush aske for 750 billion and didnt even look back as to how that got spent or when he kept asking month after month for more and more money on a wastefull war. but yet they want to yell about a spending bill now .. that right there cracks me up .. how you think we have no money to spend now.. i would say lil bush knows the answer to that.. lil bush MAXED out the American peoples credit card and left the bill on the white house desk for the next man no matter who that person would have been, but now everybody wanna yell it's to much spending .. gotta laugh at the whole thing

    February 5, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Some of you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Carl from MI,
    Bush's tax breaks brought us out of the recession that fallowed 9/11.
    FreeNLovIt,
    No. That base would give the USA leverage against Iran and what could be more important with them developing nuclear weapons.

    James in Dallas, Tx, This man knows what he is talking about. Well put sir.

    February 5, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Joyce in Indiana

    Do you people realize that the so-called "pork" that you are railing against comprises only a tiny percentage of the stimulus bill? Do you realize that a significant amount of the increase in cost in the bill is the result of Republican-added tax cuts?

    And Phil, exactly what impeachable offenses has President Obama committed in is first weeks in office? Do you know what constitutes an impeachable offense? It is something serious like lying to Congress about the intelligence used to start a war, or the use of "signing statements" to subvert the Congressional intention of a law, or the unconstitutional spying on American citizens without a warrent. Has President Obama committed any of these offenses? No, wait, it was former President Bush who did.

    February 5, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Sam

    As long as Republicans and Democrats keep voting for the party instead of what's good for the people (vote for the man or woman and not for the Party) we will always have these crisis that become more severe as time goes by. Term limits...it's time for a drastic change in our politics

    February 5, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Grandma

    Please get the $20 billion from corporate executives that had handed out in bonuses with our money. We do not want tax cut our kids need to get help to buy home by government paying 20% down if they work hard and can effort payment for other 80%. They do not have the right of the sale unless payback the 20% back to government.

    February 5, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. jm

    Perfectly said Reggie!

    Now why can't everyone realize this, especially those morons in D.C.?

    This is not about Republicans. Don't compare the "wasteful spending" in this bill to the Bush Administration's similar policies. They can BOTH be wrong. Justifying this bill by saying it's "not as bad as Bush" is moronic and worthless.

    Truth is this: If Pres. Obama wants a true "bipartisan" bill, he needs to cut out the wasteful spending. Yes, he won the election, but let's not forget that 50 million people DIDN'T vote for him. Do you want to ostracize all of them?

    I support President Obama. I can't stand Nancy Pelosi. I think the Republicans have faltered in their leadership. But, I also feel bad for some Republicans who can't say anything without being lambasted, even if they make a valid point and suggestion.

    Bottom line – the bill is TOO large and includes way too many special interest pork projects that will not create jobs and stimulate the economy. I am all for govt giving a kick start. I am all for a new approach besides tax cuts, but remember the Dems have also participated in this crazy spending spree (not to this magnitude) before and it never ends well either.

    February 5, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. CIndy, PA

    Now we really know what PORK is, leave it up to the Democrats / liberals in Congress and the community organizer / social worker elected president; kiss the American jobs good bye. Pity the American public.

    February 5, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. EC

    STOP HATING....STOP HATING... STOP HATING... this does not help get us back on track people!!

    Everything in the White House can be improved and should be improved. Do you haters think that an incoming-President is elected just to sit back and do nothing to move our country forward or make it BETTER? Are you ignorant or what?

    What's WRONG with you people? Is that ALL you are about is wasted negativity and complaints? I mean is that ALL you've got to dish out?
    Don't you folks ever get TIRED of hearing yourselves complain? I mean really, that record is getting tired and very OLD fast.

    You all are nothing but a bunch of miserable folks. YOU never want anyone to succeed, you are just as miserable with yourselves that you want everyone else to be miserable and FAIL just like YOU!!

    Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but President Obama is ALL about doing what's BEST for our country as our President. That's the JOB he was HIRED to do. If you don't like it them MOVE to Iraq or some other country. Maybe then you'll realize just how BLESSED we ALL are, and how we are ALL IN THIS SINKING BOAT TOGETHER. If President Obama fails, WE ALL FAIL. What part of this equation don't you folks understand? It's NOT about being a Republican, Democrat or Independents, it's ABOUT being AMERICANS. If ONE fails, we all fail.

    Being President is NOT an easy JOB. President Obama is just trying to make the world a better place for EVERYONE, that means your sorry behinds too! It's just so very shameful that so many of you are so set on being hateful and have nothing better or positive to say. The man has only been on the job a few weeks, get over yourselves.

    IF you "haters" think you could do a better job, then why didn't YOU run for office? Yep, I thought so. It's always easier to point the finger at everyone else when you are NOT walking in their shoes!! Hello.

    I guess we shouldn't be surprised..... miserable people just do nothing but promote misery. So stay miserable, keep complaining, keep bashing our President., because when it's ALL said and done. YOU all are the ones looking mighty stupid!

    ENOUGH ALREADY, LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB!!!!

    February 5, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. someonewhocares

    I like John Stuart's proposal of giving the stimulus package to us, the taxpayers, to pay off our debt. That would help the banks and the economy more than giving billions to companies as a reward for failure.

    February 5, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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