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. Carolyn Jones

    This is the only attempt made in more than 8 years to address the needs of the American People – The Recovery Plan will Help; not only is President Obama going down in History for the Obvious Reasons; He will Bring the United States Back to the Status We should Be In

    February 14, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Love for all Mankind

    LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE WHO TALK AGAINST OUR PRESIDENT DICISIONS THAT WAS MADE ABOUT HIS ADMINISTRATION AND STIMULUS PACKAGE . THEY SEEM TO THINK THEIR IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.

    ALSO FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK WHERE PAYING TO MUCH TO SUPPORT OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WORKING. JUST REMEMBER THIS IT COULD BE YOU WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    THIS JOBLESS ISSUE DOES NOT TO JUST ONE PARTY BUT IT'S HAPPENING TO EVERYONE OF US. SO STOP YOUR COMPLAINING ABOUT THINGS YOU KNOW NOTHING OF.

    LAST THING I WOULD LIKE TO SAY MOST OF YOU WHO ARE COMPLAINING, NO NOTHING ABOUT FINANCES, YOUR JUST GOING ALONE WITH WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT THE SITUATION. SO STOP BE A FOLLOWER AND LEARN TO LEAD.

    February 14, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Arden

    Mr. President: Everyone can argue, complain and throw mud but the truth is no one really knows whats going to happen even with the stimulis. There are a few things, however, that can be noted; the Republicans will never do one single thing to work with you and the government while your in office, the media will continue to write things that are made up and basically a lie in order to make news and keep a job and those that didn't want you in office will continue to complain and blame you for everyting including their miserable lot in life that for the most part they created. I say congratulations for standing up for what you think you have to do, right , wrong and indifferent. Congratulations to those three republicans that stood along side of you through this mess, and God Bless you and those that work with you to do the best they can to take care of America.

    February 14, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. elsie

    Republicans...Please stop your lying. If you didn't read the bill how come you know so much about it?

    February 14, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Justin

    This bill got ruined by the concessions they made to republicans. I'm getting what, $13 back per paycheck? Forget it.

    February 14, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. ariam

    It is a great time for this Nation, America to see beyond a skin color and elect the first black American to highest office on the land I thank God for all that.,It is time now for Congress to put their personal ego and politics on the side and work for the people of America who are suffering a great deal every day .The gop (I made the letter small that's how i see them now).They do not represent the people when they have the same manner as Rush limbo to wish the President fail
    It is hard to believe not to undestand If The President fails America The whole Nation fails. Wake up The people has learn a lot from the past adminstation it is not time to play get your act together and get behind the President. God Bless The President of America Barack Obama.

    February 14, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. elsie

    If each one of you crybabies would please send me $10.00 I might not have my electricity turn off this month. Thanks in advance.

    February 14, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Once you vote Black

    The GOP by not voting for the Porkulus look like they support all that Bush has done since the bill was desigened to undo all Bush did . So in 2 years it will look like you blocked progress. That may play well in the South, but in the rest of the nation you will be seen as dim witted.

    February 14, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Brad

    I really liked Barack Obama before and when he first took office. But I must say, I have seen him backtrack on many of his campaign promises. All I see now is politics as usual, Mr. President. Where is all that change and hope you were talking about?

    This isn't a game anymore, people. This isn't "Bush did that, so Barack can do this". This isn't about partisan bickering from Democrats and Republicans. Take the focus off beating and punishing the other side, and start coming up with sensible, logical solutions. Start using some critical thinking for once. All I read is nonsense on these boards.

    In my opinion, this stimulus bill is not going to make our economy any better off. Just wait and see. We are headed for a historic depression, and government is NOT going to spend us out of it. This isn't the 1930s. My children are going to be paying off this debt with outrageous taxes, as well as monumental inflation. 3 years from now, we are going to look back and say "That was a bad idea."

    February 14, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Hammer

    At the end of the day there will be no question about which party is responsible for this bill. When all the smoke clears you better hope that the Dems. are right because we just bet the future of America.
    If they are right we survive, if they are wrong we are history.
    Obama does not sound like he is confident that this will work as he has made excuses to give him an out if the plan fails.

    February 14, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. EBC, MD

    THANK GOD and you didn't even need those IGNORANT DO "NOTHING" Republicans!!!! YES WE CAN!!!

    February 14, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. diamond j

    dear cnn ,never mind ill get back to all my conservative friends,my comment is always waiting moderation.you guys are so in the tank for the demo-rats!

    February 14, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Just so you know.

    The media, including CNN and MSNBC, has been showing the clips of Rep John Boehner's (R-OH) tantrum the other day when he said "No One, No One" has read the 1,000-page stimulus plan, and then he threw the document onto the floor of the House of Representatives.

    On the same day CNN showed a clip of newly-elected Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) who said the stimulus bill was available days ago and that he had read it and it was easy to read the updates/changes as things moved along, including the day before the final vote.

    Neither CNN or MSNBC are willing to find out exactly what date the very first stimulus plan was made available to members of Congress.

    CNN and MSNBC want to show us part of the story, but not all of it, because it makes for more controversy to show viewers.

    February 14, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Hall for Obama

    Larry it is better than the big bank bail out.

    February 14, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Mike in VA

    Yippie! I can't wait for my $13 a week!

    February 14, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. VA Enlightened

    Congratulations,

    Wow President Obama! You always make sure to think of the American people as a whole-united, unpredjudiced & loyal...Mr. President thanks for all your efforts and obvious commitment to the American people united without separation. Just wish you could get the same respect back Mr. President Barack Hussien Obama...so far it looks like their is much work we all need to do!

    ** Hope= Peace= Love** Sure we can.

    February 14, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Fan of Common Sense

    If this bill was not such an economic tragedy for this country it actually would have been funny. What a joke. Just like this guy BOUGHT the Oval Office with all of his special interest donations, this socialist dunce thinks he can BUY a good economy. This country is in serious trouble. Let's hope the Republican take-over of Congress in 2010 will not be too late.

    February 14, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Billy

    "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."

    Not sure if you're ignorant or lying, but the empirical evidence is clear: tax cuts to wealthy individuals (which is what you're defending) don't help the economy. In Reagan's case, they preceded a significant recession (that everyone, especially the right, likes to pretend didn't happen). Google "Judd Waniski", and learn how one of the original advocates of "supply-side economics" changed his mind after he saw the evidence.

    February 14, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. Robert Va.

    I would like to know more about the stimulus package, is it possible to obtain a copy so that I can be better informed. I hope that it is going to get jobs back in the United States, without jobs we cannot even begin to move forward.

    February 14, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Once you vote Black

    Thats it worriedmom, just turn it up. This bill won't hurt once you get use to it. Happy Valentines Day. In the end its what is best for the nation.

    February 14, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Billy

    "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"

    Yes.

    The current economic crisis was caused by welfare.

    And according to Rush, you're a patriot.

    Sad.

    February 14, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. Bill

    Where were the repubs when bush increased the national debt by 3 trillion dollars with his irresponsible tax cuts for the rich or when he squandered 1 trillion dollars on his illegal war in Irak (including corrupt non-bid contracts for halliburton and blackwater)?
    The repubs are for the most part a southern based party full of the old demons that have always haunted that region. I'm not surprised that rush limbaugh, the leader of the repubs wants President Obama to fail.

    February 14, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Pat, CA

    JJ @12:39 pm ET
    ----------
    Fabulous quote JJ - thanks for sharing it. I'll be sure to save it. But, unfortunately, it's too simple and logical for any Liberal!

    February 14, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. kaz

    Please!!!! people look how the language has changed. Take a minute and go back even 1month. Obama said he was going to CREATE 3 to 4 million jobs. Then this week the dems got the memo.. It is now Obama will Save or Create 3 to 4 million jobs. Its all one big joke. They are clones of one another. Honestly they to not give the American People credit for having a brain and seeing right through it.
    Everything he does is staged and purposly rolled out at the appropriate time. Do you think its a coincidence that he is signing the bill on Presidents Day. Its all about his ego. We are in for tough times.

    February 14, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. gaffer

    I read a lot of blogs.....and it surprises me that the people who claim the stimulus bill is a waste of money and the very same losers who supported the occupation of Iraq(NOW LETS TALK ABOUT A WASTE OF MONEY AND LIVES) and believe the fear that the Bush admin sold them.... a lot of the same losers now like PALIN for 2012....those people are the sterotypical idots that portray Americans as arrogant, ignorant and generally un American as they dont embrace what this counrty truly stands for as in a responsible leader in the free world. in your pipe flanders....!!

    February 14, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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