February 14th, 2009
11:34 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama praises Congress for passing a 'major milestone'

President Obama praised Congress for passing the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.
President Obama praised Congress for passing the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In his weekly address, President Obama praised Congress for passing the $787 billion economic stimulus package Friday, saying its efforts "delivered a real and tangible progress for the American people."

Obama, who lobbied House and Senate members of both parties, said in his address released Saturday that the bill passage marks a "major milestone on our road to recovery."

Watch: Obama's weekly address

"I want to thank the members of Congress who came together in common purpose to make it happen," he said. "Because they did, I will sign this legislation into law shortly, and we'll being making the immediate investments necessary to put people back to work doing the work America needs done."

Obama also promised greater transparency in how the taxpayers' dollars are being spent.

"Once the plan is put into action, a new website -– recovery.gov -– will allow any American to watch where the money goes and weigh in with comments and questions –- and I encourage every American to do so," he said. "Ultimately, this is your money, and you deserve to know where it's going and how it's spent."

But Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in the weekly Republican address, said Obama's stimulus plan is not timely, targeted or temporary enough to jumpstart the flailing economy.

Murkowski also took aim at the high price tag - namely the amount of spending found in the bill.

Watch: Murkowski airs her concerns

"All this spending adds up, and has to be paid back — paid back by our children and their children. And, as of now, the American people don’t have the facts about the total cost," she said. “As a mother, I can say from experience that it doesn’t make much sense to plan the family vacation before you figure out whether you can afford it. Yet that’s just what Democrats seem to be doing."


Filed under: Congress • President Obama
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    It's a start, but the package could have been more robust and have more meat in it. 38% tax cuts? What's that? 1.00 for infrastructure yields 1.50 and 1.00 for welfare yields 1.75 and 1.00 for tax cuts does not do anything. I dont understand this, Clinton fueled the economy without excessive tax cuts, why doesnt Obie go that route? I am totally against tax cuts for anybody except maybe for the small businesses. People need jobs NOT tax cuts!!!

    February 14, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. I understand the stimulus plan now

    having read many of the provisions in the stimulus bill, I now understand President Obama's laser styled approach. Instead of reading all 1,010 pages, hrere is a synopisis that will give you the feel for the bill:

    We give $250 million to soldiers living in the Phillipines – yes Phillipino citizens – that fought with the US in World War II.

    This $250 million will bring Phillipino tourists to the US, likley landing in Los Angeles. Since we gave $8 billion to Harry reid to build a high speed choo choo from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, these Phillipinos can simply jump on the train; go to Vegas; and lose all their money to the local economy. While in Vegas, they will free to enjoy the adult games in that city, becasue Nancy Pelosi as put bak into the bill $250 million for condoms, so what may be caught in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

    As our Phillipino visitors leave the US through San Francisco, the increased traffic will not injure the salt water marsh white mouse because Nancy Pelosi has $30 million in the plan to protect them.

    February 14, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. carolflowery

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL what a joke

    February 14, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    This 1 trillion package needs to produce jobs. I am gving it a C grade for its content. The important thing is to fuel innovations to its full potential so it'll create millions of jobs and not just the 3-4 million predicted by Obie. This is the time to renovate so I hope GM, Ford and Chrysler use this time wisely to get their companies back on track.

    February 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Jim

    A milestone or a millstone? Only time will tell whether this is actually an albatross around Obama's neck (instead os a "victory").

    February 14, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. annie - Palin 2012

    At least bo is thanking congress for the destruction of our country.

    February 14, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Scott, Tucson

    Well if this is my money as Obama says it is, I want mine back right now! I for one am tired of the government stealing from me through payroll taxes and they're taxing everything under the sun just to pick our wallets clean.

    February 14, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. FreeNLovIt

    I cant believe this but these Illinoian politicians want to raise the GAS tax to .50 cents. WE should live within our means. They all need a paycut or work only 4 days out a week. I was hoping that when they impeach Blago, they'll also throw themselves all out, but that didnt happen. By the way, if you're going to park, it's like $3/hr Downtown Chicago. That's crazy. Taxes just keeps going up and up.... Can anyone clean up IL.

    February 14, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    And oh yeah, our politicians are so corrupted, they want to sell public tollways and roads to private companies. That's illegal!! It belongs to the public!! You cant do that.... They're drown in their corruptions and cant see and find their ways... or they do not want to find their way home.

    February 14, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. FreeNLovIt

    Blah..blah..blah... SHOW me the JOBS!!!

    February 14, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Gene Kannee

    George Bush came into power with government deficet and left Obama with over a trillion and a half in debt and a failed economy. The Republicans, while in power, spent wall that meney that Bush wanted, now they are crying poor mouth. They need to look in a mirrow before they attack Obama. What goes around comes around.

    February 14, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    It took eight years for Bush to drag our country down....It took Obama one month to destroy it...

    February 14, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. chris from stl

    This is the last ditch effort to save your family and America, Senator Murkowski. The objective here is to survive. Beg, borrow or steal. Save the country from a certain disaster (it is already a disaster because of you and yor cohorts). If we do not do any thing now, I don't think your family will survive to have another vacation.

    What a moronic argument, Murkowski.

    February 14, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Diana

    All I can say is that if this doesn't work the democrats are in a lot of trouble come 4 years or sooner ...I really think Obama has to get rid of Polosi she is going to be a thorn in his side ...I'm not in favor of this stimulas package and I don't think it can work too much pork..he should have dropped a lot of it .....I believe the Republicans were right too bad he didn't listen more

    February 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. tom insko

    Calling this waste of borrowed money a major milestone is "putting lipstick on a pig." We borrowed and spent for 8 years so the solution is to double down on the same strategy?

    February 14, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    Didn't our deficit go from $5T to over $10T in the last eight years? Now all of a sudden Republicans are concerned that our children's children's children are going to be burdened? They're joking, right? And for anyone who is thinking of calling our new President a socialist, think Wall Street bailout and $18B in bonuses to boot. That's socialism on steroids.

    February 14, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Barbara Ca

    Thank you President Obama for putting the country first. Congratulations!

    The Republicans were trying to prove that they are:

    UNITED! STRONG! SLY!

    What they actually proved was that they are:

    IRRELEVANT! UNNECESSARY! OUT OF TOUCH!

    Republicans, if you are actually trying to make the President fail, you are trying to make our country fail!

    Our country already has enough enemies.

    February 14, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Griff

    Anybody: Period! Even The Middle East.

    February 14, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Linda in WI

    The same might have been said about the Wall Street bailout. Barring any NEW ideas from the Republicans, this bill, while certainly imperfect, may be the best we can do. It's time for Dems and Repubs to get on board and start working together to rescue this great country from this economic crisis. American citizens are watching and we WILL take action at the polls next year if obstructionists continue their ill-advised ways.

    February 14, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. maf

    Again, the first Republican comments are about "future generations" paying back the debt. This $0.8 Trillion is less than 10% of the $10.8 Trillion total debt. . .$10 Trillion of that built up during the 8 years of Bush Republican policy.

    Where was this rhetoric then????? Republicans better get their feet on the ground and start to support the stimulus (and probably the next one) so that THIS GENERATION can start to repair the damage that we have all been part of.

    February 14, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Bill

    It's over, and we got screwed!

    Now watch invitro fertilization thrive. Why collect just ONE welfare check when you can have 14!

    February 14, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. mike

    Where is the reporting? Where are the reporters?
    The new President just took the goodwill and good wishes of a nation in trouble, and flushed it down a TRILLION dollar toilet. The "victory" is a political grab bag that doesn't address the real estate or bank problem, will continue to let the stock market (I know it may be evil to those who don't work but people need the market for education, retirement, prosperity) slide and our economy falter.

    Meanwhile, our reporters from CNN fawn and make excuses. This is a time when journalism could have helped the country. Instead, our country has a trillion dollars of more debt, funded in great part by foreign nations. Our economy will continue to sink, and you made even Republicans look smart (not an easy task).

    February 14, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. mw

    Republicans will not agree to cooperate with Democrats on any subject, because they are Republicans, narrow minded, uncooperative, sore losers, power hungry, and do not want to know how good it feels to be in a bipartison spirit. A Democrat had to leave in the middle of burying his mother because no Republican cared enough to vote for middle America's relief. I hate repugs.

    February 14, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Xavier

    After eight years of the imcompetence of an ingoramus named Bush, it is refershing to see a competent and intellegent man sitting in the oval office.

    February 14, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Michael

    Wonderful, and good luck with the follow up....something had to be done. I am however, still puzzled as to where the money went in the package for the banks? Does anyone know? Are people able to access that money for credit?

    February 14, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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