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. aware

    Gross Obama Obfuscator! :(

    February 14, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. katiec

    Thank Goodness we have Barack Obama as our new President.
    He is trying to do what is best for our country and it's people.
    These last eight years have almost destroyed us and it will take
    bold measures to bring us back. Of course, the bill is not perfect,
    no bill of this magnitude is, but it will give our economy and
    many other numerous problems a jump start. Have heard so
    many complaints by the republicans, but saw saw no solutions.
    No acceptable solutions, that is, as they continue to push tax cuts
    and deregulation that got us into this mess.
    Thank you, President Obama, for giving priority to our sruvival.

    February 14, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    WE'RE SPENDING BILLIONS IN IRAQ AND PAID THE FORMER PRES. MALAKI MILLIONS AND NOW REPUBLICANS COMPLAIN ABOUT SPENDING RIGHT HERE IN THE USA AND THAT GOES FOR RUSH L. TOO. REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO SWEEP SPENDING IN IRAQ UNDER THE RUG WHILE DENYING SPENDING RIGHT HERE.

    February 14, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Willis

    Craig February 14th, 2009 12:19 pm ET

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

    Agreed! But ONLY if they DIDN'T vote for Bush!

    February 14, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Anti-Obama

    Barbara in CA,what do you call what the libs were trying to do to Bush for the past eight years? You people practically destroyed the man`s presidency so you could have all the power and screw this country up even more,and you`re doing it already.This guy`s turning out to be a total joke.No wonder Americans have a reputation for being the most unintelligent bunch of people on the face of the Earth.

    February 14, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Alicia

    Great job and good luck President Obama! Don't pay any mind to these sour grapes Republicans who never had a plan. NOW they want to criticize someone cleaning up the Republican mess!!!!!

    February 14, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. james

    The Stimulus package will work I fully agree with what Obama is doing. Just like FDR this redistribution of money will not last forever and once america is back on it's feet restrictions will ease back. People should not be afraid of the government gaining a little control for a while. In times like this the government is the only one who can raise the funds to pull us out of this. If we sit around and do nothing, this recession will turn into a depression. Hell yeah to the stimulus plan.

    February 14, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. sensible Cape Coral FL

    The members of the F- the People Party must be very proud of themselves. At least the Democrats are trying to help.

    February 14, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Vincent Petrosino

    My goodness, does Senator Murkowski think we have a short memory? How hypocritical to talk about our children's children's debt when the current economic disaster orchestrated by the GOP has prevented many of their parents, our children, from getting jobs NOW. The GOP has gambled that the Stimulus package will not work so they have an issue in 2012 to campaign on and take over again. And isn't the red state of Alaska the same state that gave us Saral Palin, Ted Stevens and the Bridge to Nowhere? Is this not the state where you can shoot animals from the air, where the polar bear is now extinct and where the pipeline will destroy wildlife preserves? Why are we listening to her at all? Why are we listening to any GOP member at all?

    February 14, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Wanderer

    II am neither a hater nor a supporter of Obama. I voted for him because I didn’t trust any other candidates because of the way of how they campaigned. America must have a leader, nonetheless. This stimulus will or will not work is not what we should be concerned at this time because we need to wait and see, I think. Why we could give President Bush before President Obama 8 years to do his job and now we can’t give Obama time to do his? We should know by now what Bush administration had done for the country or to the country in the last 8 years. I believed President Bush also hoped the best for the country and he worked very hard for the America people and neither we nor he expected things would turn out to be this way. Obama alone can do nothing, he is not GOD, like any leaders, he needs cooperation from as many as people to work with him NOT to oppose him. The stimulus is absolutely NOT ‘Spreading the Wealth’ as being said or thought of by those who are now feeling of being defeated, lost, or desperate. It is probably that only the wealthy feel this way.

    <<>>

    Reading this, one should immediately be able to see that Murkowski’s concerned is totally absurd. The current economic situation is by no mean similar to a vacation. Millions of people lost their jobs, houses, healthcare, etc. How Ms. Murkowski can still think it is like a vacation. Does she want to wait until the ship has sunk down to the bottom of the ocean then start getting people out of the ship? Is vacation all she can think of in such an urgent circumstance?

    February 14, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Proc

    It's amazing how people drink the Obama Kool-Aid. It's like you're all brainwashed. Good thing they included STD prevention in this bill. That will help the economy.

    February 14, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Bill

    The republican party has become a southern based party that takes it's orders from the likes of rush limbaugh. As such, the republicans want the President to fail and don't have the best interests of the nation at heart. It's amazing that anyone would listen to a crowd who supported the irresponsible deregulation, tax cuts and corruption that caused the present crisis.

    February 14, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Wanderer

    I am neither a hater nor a supporter of Obama. I voted for him because I didn’t trust any other candidates because of the way of how they campaigned. America must have a leader, nonetheless. This stimulus will or will not work is not what we should be concerned at this time because we need to wait and see, I think. Why we could give President Bush before President Obam 8 years to do his job and now we can’t give Obama time to do his? We should know by now what Bush administration had done for the country or to the country in the last 8 years. I believed President Bush also hoped the best for the country and he worked very hard for the America people and neither we nor he expected things would turn out to be this way. Obama alone can do nothing, he is not GOD, like any leaders, he needs cooperation from as many as people to work with him NOT to oppose him. The stimulus is absolutely NOT ‘Spreading the Wealth’ as being said or thought of by those who are now feeling of being defeated, lost, or desperate. It is probably that only the wealthy feel this way.

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

    Reading this, one should immediately be able to see that Murkowski’s concerned is totally absurd. The current economic situation is by no mean similar to a vacation. Millions of people lost their jobs, houses, healthcare, etc. How Ms. Murkowski can still think it is like a vacation. Does she want to wait until the ship has sunk down to the bottom of the ocean then start getting people out of the ship? Is vacation all she can think of in such an urgent circumstance?

    February 14, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Death of America by Obama

    Who are you people who think obama and the democrats have done something so great. The people who can so easily overlook any thing they do that's
    just plain wrong. I would really like to see your faces. I really want to know what so much stupidy looks like.
    America, what have you done.

    February 14, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Proud Soldeirs Mom

    THE BIG DEM PLAN:
    Create a Stimulus Bill full of favor payback, and anything on the dems wish list that have been vetoed in the past. Then, The pres. will create a new stimulus bill that is REALLY suppose to create jobs to get us out of this recession. No one will say no to the new one. The second stimulus bill will work, but at the same time, the dems got what they wanted out of the first bill. By 2012 no one will even remember the first bad bill, and the Pres. will look good by the next election.

    February 14, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Ken

    Of course Obama is happy. After forcing the stimulus bill down the American's throat and lack of Republicans supporting this huge "PET PROJECTS" , what eles would you expect?

    I will say now that Obama's administration will not be able to account to the American public where each and every penny goes. Pet projects like Nancy Pelosi's PET MOUSE, are truly more about her than creating jobs for the many out of work American citizens.

    Now I am wondering what will be the next thing that this here administration will force down the American's throat?

    February 14, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. diamond j

    the new pork zilla burger is a combo platter of a whole lota pork! it will only cost us and our grandkids about a zillion dollars!

    February 14, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Stephen, Missouri

    I am impressed by President Obama. The package ended up where he started. He got most of what he wanted. And this man is way ahead on the thinking curve. He knows what he is doing.

    The more I see Republicans go shrill, the more I know he is doing the right thing. Our President was attacked mercilessly during the campaign and still is being attacked...his response, he is still cordial and civil. One by one, he is achieving what he promised during his campaign.

    It is a joy to see this President work. Republicans attacked and he maintained his cool and when he put them in their place, it was so sweet and awesome. Go President Obama we are fully behind you.

    February 14, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Countdown until we get a real President

    I can't believe people still blaming Bush. You keep saying he lied, instead of saying that he gave us the information he was given. If the economy goes into the tank in 2 years, you will still blame Bush and Republicans. You say Repubs did nothing to support it, yet they are the ones that dropped the bill below 800billion. Oh, did you also look in it to where the military is now getting NOTHING. By the way, if you are an E-5 or below in the military, married with 1 child, you qualify for food stamps, and wic. Amazing. They put their lives on the line and this is the thanks they get. Thank you America once again for screwing the military. Why don't you left winger, Obama lovers join a branch, put on a uniform, and then you will know what it feels like, and why the military votes Republican.

    No worries though, CNN will probably not put this post up since they are in love with Obama. Foxnews seems to be the only side that both sides get posted, and can have an intelligent argument. Oh yeh, one more thing...OBAMA IS HALF WHITE!

    February 14, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. pam

    this is just wrong, who would vote on the stimulas bill if nobody has not even read it. what about the people on main street that are loosing their homes, no help for homeowners anywhere. when this all began it was noted the main reason for a bill was for help for people help save their homes. now there is a bunch of nothing that will not even stimulate the economy ib this bill & most important it will not help anyone for 1-2 years. now where are we all going to be then? we will be worse than ever. thank-you

    February 14, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Peter E

    Where were these republicans for the past eight years, or even in the past six months? They had no trouble expanding government then, spending record deficits, and handing out government (aka, taxpayer) cash to corrupt institutions. They argued then that deficit spending was necessery. Now they argue it is unfair to borrow from our children. Do they have this short of a memory, or do YOU have this short of a memory? I'd love to see actual fiscal conservatives in government, not these who just grand-stand for different sides when the politcal winds change. Or perhaps they should voluntarily reject the stimulus bill's aid to their own state to show solidarity with the children, and children's children. But they want to also have it both ways, score conservative politcal points, and yet still indulge in the future generation's money. I guess they truly represent their constituents that way...

    February 14, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Larry

    Any one that thinks this bill is even remotely good for our country is someone that just wants more entitlements,you are the people that are dragging us all down to your level and who got us here in the first place.I can not really blame you though ,this is what you were promised as payment for your vote,I hope the $400.00 you are going to get paid is worth your selling the rest of us down the river. Acorn and the unions look like they were well paid with the billions of dollars earmarked for their votes too.

    February 14, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Brian

    This is just stupid. I believe someone noted this week that this spending spree amounts to $100,000 per tax paying entity. If you take those who do not pay taxes into account, which is approximately 50%. That is $50,000 per household. That WOULD stimulate the economy, help banks, the auto industry, and stop foreclosures and the impending credit card collapse. Millions of people in thousand of cities and towns with $ to spend. Buy a car. Pay your mortage...catch up. Buy some needed items maybe splurge a little. Take a trip. Pay off credit card debt SAVE. What ever you would do, would have helped the economy more. Plus Obama and the Democrats could have bought more votes. But instead some tax payers will get a $400 tax credit. Vote them all out. Its not too early to start.

    February 14, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. worriedmom

    Why do we even bother fighting for things. Obama is gonna do what he wants to do. Oh well, he has it now, lets see what he does for us.
    Libs must be feeling a tingle up their legs!!!

    February 14, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. rob

    @FreeNLovIt

    Where did you get your facts:

    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.

    Ok infrastructure maybe, but 1.00 in welfare yields 1.50????? Are you kidding, your great leader Bill Clinton signed the welfare reforms in the 90's because it caused dependancy and abuse of the system.

    And tax cuts yield nothing????

    Cutting taxes works every time its used ie: Kennedy, Reagan, Bush II. That and a real targeted spending is what the republicans were trying to push for real Job growth.

    February 14, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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