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. Craig

    Why doesn't Congress give $2500 to every man woman and child instead?

    February 14, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Welcome to France

    What a dishonest person he is. Everything he says comes with an expiration date.
    This man is dangerous. I am happy the Republicans stood their ground and voted against this. They have been criticized for being partisan, but I believe it was Mr. Obama who said there would be enough time (72 hours) for the public and congress to review legislation before it was voted on. This was posted online at midnight the night before the vote. 24 hours is NOT enough time to read through this pile of dung. I dare him to do it. In fact...I bet he hasn't even read it.
    There is a LARGE and ever-growing group of deeply concerned citizens in our country that will be bringing TRUE CHANGE to Washington in the very near future. This will not stand.

    February 14, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Alaskim

    Lisa,
    What a hypocrite! You have no credibility. You sat there, watched, listened and ultimately voted for the Bush Administration's efforts that pushed us into a ten trillion dollar national debt. Your Republican free market ideology and removal of regulations brought our economy to our knees. Didn't you care about your children and grandchildren then? Now the Democrats have to fix your mess. Thanks Republicans.

    February 14, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Joe in NJ

    Does anyone seriously think this stimulus bill is going to help? It's just that – a bill. And when payment comes due, God help us all.

    February 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. paul oregon

    now alaska has two palins. this is better than a movie lol,lol

    February 14, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Jake

    “As a mother, I can say from experience that it doesn’t make much sense to "go to war" before you figure out whether you can afford it. Yet that’s just what Democrats seem to be doing."

    /fixed

    February 14, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Sarty

    Congratulations to the President, Rahm, Pelosi, Reid, Brown, Kennedy, Vicky and the 3 Repubs and all democrats (except those 7).
    For all those Rethugs, get out of USA.

    February 14, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Ed

    If all these Republicans are so concerned with the country's future, why didn't any of them speak up during the last eight years? They lost this election BIG TIME and they still don't get it!

    February 14, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Ann

    When we send millions to Iraq, and much of that money is unaccounted for in the end, has this senator been as vociferous in her dismay? Have the other Republican senators made an equally loud stink about it? Nope!! This is partisan politics, nothing else. And that is a sad thing under any administration.

    February 14, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Dan

    Our President is misleading American people. This stimulus will create more unemployment. Those peopel who comment here about the Republicans saying they spent money in the last 8 years for Iraq war, let me say this.. Democrats had authorized the war and do not wash your hands. Do not blame Republicans. Besides Democrats are contorling the congress since 2006. We miss President Bush who has been responsible President for our country. Barack is taking us into wrong direction. Wake up America.

    February 14, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Dan

    Our President is misleading American people. This stimulus will create more unemployment. Those people who comment here about the Republicans saying they spent money in the last 8 years for Iraq war, let me say this.. Democrats had authorized the war and do not wash your hands. Do not blame Republicans. Besides Democrats are controlling the congress since 2006. We miss President Bush who has been responsible President for our country. Barack is taking us into wrong direction. Wake up America.

    February 14, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Rob Stumpf

    Obama is digging himself into a very deep hole. It's not bad enough that he talks the economy DOWN (for his own political benefit), but his recent demonstration that he'll roll over for Nancy Pelosi is potentially a very dangerous thing.

    What the Democrats want to do is increase the size of government and pay for it by reforming entitlements, or ending the war(s), or hoping the economy suddenly jumps through the roof.

    The economy aint jumping through the roof suddenly. Her ludicrous public statements aside, Pelosi knows this, of course, which is why so little spending in the "stimulus" package takes place anytime soon.

    Obama is not running away from Iraq anytime soon (he can't), and he can't leave Afghanistan (in fact, he's sending more troops there).

    That only leaves entitlements. And he can NOT reform entitlements without Republican support. It's impossible, Democrats won't ever vote to cut benefits if Republicans aren't on board. It would be political suicide for many of them.

    Obama's failure to get even a single Republican vote for a spending package (!) full of pork for members on both sides of the aisle is a terrible sign. If he can't get support for the little things, he won't for the big things either...and it's all going to be a big (inflationary) house of cards.

    February 14, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Chuck

    Where were all those Republicans for the last eight years? They were at the beckon call of the "Cheney-Bush administration for everything that was placed in front of them. And look at what has happened to this great country of ours. They are responsible for the mess we are in and it will take Democrats to remedy the damage that Republicans have caused.

    February 14, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. fred wheeler

    i dont under stand why the republicans say they werent asked to help right the bill?

    February 14, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Rob Stumpf

    Most senseless liberal argument ever: because BUSH spend too much money, that means no one can question OBAMA spending too much money! Complete nonsense.

    "Past error is no excuse for its own perpetuation."
    –Robert Kennedy

    February 14, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. C W

    Scott, were you complaining the last 8 years when Bush & Company were stealing your money by lying to take us into a war so their buddies at Halliburton could over-charge the taxpayer?

    Were you complaining when Bush & Company, by their own outrageous and illegal behavior, tacitly encouraged outrageous and illegal behavior on Wall Street (which lead to the current financial crisis)?

    Were you complaining when Bush & Company cut taxes on the wealthiest in our country, well knowing that trickle-down, voodoo economics doesn't work?

    Were you complaining, Scott? Or do you just blame Democrats and, like so many others, turn a blind eye to the destruction to our nation that the last 8 years (it really goes back to Reagan) have brought us?

    February 14, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Brian SC

    I applaud the effort of the Democrats to provide SOMETHING instead of nothing as a solution to the economic crisis. What the Republicans did by not supporting this effort was push themselves further from relating to the people. You'd think that someone who calls theirselves a republican would understand the term comes from to words...REpresent... the PUBLIC's good and welfare.

    Thank Pres. Obama! May this country truly unite to finding a solution instead of continuing to fuel pessimism into the problem.

    February 14, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. snoopyloopy

    as jim said, only time will tell what exactly this bill turns out to be. however, it seems like a much better step in a forward direction than the last infusion of cash into the banking system. but let's keep in mind that the banking system was in trouble because people weren't paying their bills, NOT because they weren't receiving government money. so the best way to fix it isn't to keep throwing money in the top, it's to get people working again so they can pay their bills which will in turn help the banking system. stabilize.

    February 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. libs be dopes

    “Change, whoops, Pork you can believe in”

    --------------------------–

    Talk about a pet project. A tiny mouse with the longtime backing of a political giant may soon reap the benefits of the economic-stimulus package.

    Lawmakers and administration officials divulged Wednesday that the $789 billion economic stimulus bill being finalized behind closed doors in Congress includes $30 million for wetlands restoration that the Obama administration intends to spend in the San Francisco Bay Area to protect, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi represents the city of San Francisco and has previously championed preserving the mouse's habitat in the Bay Area.

    February 14, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. JJ

    "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the rich
    out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply the wealth by dividing it."
    Dr. Adrian Rogers

    February 14, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Southern Illiosian

    Chicago is now happy....

    February 14, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Nakita

    Alaskim,

    You're right- for the last 8 years, the republicans acted like liberals. But thats no reason to disavow conservatism. And by the way, conservative fiscal policy is not nearly as reductive as you like to think. It's not just about "tax cuts." I can't believe how little dems really get it.

    February 14, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Deb

    Good job Mr. President and Congress

    February 14, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Jessica-Independent

    I throw my full support behind thepresident. Hope all goes well!

    February 14, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Pepper Hanrahan

    This is so silly of the Republicans. To counter Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Obama's "stimulus plan is not timely, targeted or temporary enough to jumpstart the flailing economy."

    Timely? Moving from Recession to Depression! Seriously! Has she read any economists warnings to move now!

    Targeted? Really? Then why are their tax breaks for businesses now targeted into the bill?

    Temporary enough? Sort of like the Iraq war that has not gone on longer than WWII?

    If Republicans are looking to 2010 they need to change their strategy!

    February 14, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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