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. arvind c

    As long as the leaky bucket (system, rules and regs) is not fixed FIRST, this problem will re-appear after the money has leaked out; but then America will be a few more trillion dollars in the red. Don't tell me how generous the Americans are, our children's and great-great-great grandchildrens piggy banks are being plundered by the greed of the baby boomers.

    February 14, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. ginger

    To all the Republicans crying foul and critizing President Obama:

    I work for a small business where 85% of our income was through escrow transactions. I use to work 40hrs a week but my hours have been cut to 22.5. Like many others I will be in financial trouble by the end of the month.

    I call on all of you critics to help me and all other fellow Americans who have been deeply affected by this economic down-turn. If your ideals where so darn great then you should have put them forth under the Bush administration.

    I need help!

    February 14, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. American

    Did Sen. Lisa Murkowski raise concerns when GW borrowed money from China for last years stimulus?

    February 14, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. debbie

    I wonder how many of the people complaining about this bill actually have bothered to vote in every election since they turned 18...municipal, state and federal? Because if you haven't then you are part of the problem. How many of you have credit card debt? Not me. How many of you are carrying a mortgage and/or car loan you have to stretch to afford? Not me. How many of you have been working for 20 years, or more, and don't have more than 50K saved for retirement? Not me. I have worked all my life, have paid my self first, have NEVER bought anything I couldn't pay for. I have a superb credit rating. I live in a nice house. I worked my way through three college degrees. Yet here I am now paying for greedy corporations that our government ALLOWED to rape us...and greedy Americans who watch too much TV and think that just because pretty thin people in commercials and on sitcoms have it all, THEY should too. Meanwhile my life's savings, which was consertively invested and diversified, and earned entirely by me, is worth 40% less.

    Despite all this, I support the President. At some point we have to put our faith and trust in the leadership we have, since it's all we've got at this point. The previous Administration was secretive, and incomptent and not to be trusted. This Administration is less than a month old, but some of the smartest people in the country are either part of it, or advising it. This is what we have, and we have to hope our President and his people are right. At least I have no doubt that this Administration really does have the best interests of the people – not corporate America – at heart.

    February 14, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Joe in NJ

    "This is the only attempt made in more than 8 years to address the needs of the American People "

    But the problem is that it is a poor attempt.

    February 14, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. kaz

    We will not know if Obama failed.. Do you honestly think we are going to get the truth about the unemploymnet rate the GDP, Do you think any poll you read is honest??? We will never have transparency as long as the media is in the tank for Obama. They won't let the truth out to the American People.

    February 14, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Larry

    Why do Democrats and the president keep bringing up the last eight years as justification for this final blow to our economy?After Bush screwed everything up,Democrats are just going to continue destroying our country because the Republicans did a lousy job?
    ---Two wrongs do not make a right people !!!We cannot afford any more spending because of Bush and congress the last 8 years,we can not keep failing and expect to survive.

    The debt load we are taking on will hurt future generations for decades as our currency is diminished against all other currencies of the world, making our country's exports worth far less, while making all imports (including oil and cars) far more expensive for all of us. With Social Security estimated to go negative in 2017, our country is facing bankruptcy.

    February 14, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Love for all Mankind

    TO BRAD AND THE REST OF THE OPOSERS OF THIS PLAN.
    PLEASE JUST SHUTUP. BRAD WHO WRITES IN MY OPINION I DON'T THINK THIS PLAN IS GOING TO WORK. FIRST YOU HAVE NO OPINION THAT THE PEOPLE WOULD EVER WANT TO LISTEN TOO. SECOND FOR THE REST OF YOU WHO SPEAK AGAINST THIS PLAN. I HOPE YOU DON'T LOOSE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE, BECAUSE THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO RELY ON SOME HELP FOR YOURSELVES. SO, PLEASE SAVE US ALL BE JUST SHUTTING UP.

    February 14, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Cynthia

    Keep talking you're beginning to make Sarah Palin look like a genuis.

    February 14, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Nick

    Great work Pres. Obama.. We are with you and you get an A+ for effort.
    The Republicans get a big F for failure to understand the needs of the people. May the stimulis work with Gods speed.

    February 14, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Chris

    I thought Obama called for change with regards to Washington. Lets see, only 3 republicans voted for this 1 trillion dollar spending plan. I thought he promised bi-partisan support?When this fails all those moderates who voted for Obama will put the Republicans back into power. What a joke this bill was.

    February 14, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Lilly Rose

    The three Republicans who signed off on this should be proud of themselves for opting to get something done instead of dragging their heels like their minions. Let's all get together and hope this works because the future of this country depends on it working. If you bitter Bushies are that unhappy, I'm sure there is somewhere else in the world you would rather live. I say, go there and enjoy.

    February 14, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Yes We Can!

    Can anyone explain how the stimulas package is considered pork? Even items in the package that are getting complaints aren't even valid arguments. CNN and other new networks have been breaking down the specifics in the bill and I've been listening intently, to make my own judgements. I concluded this is just the first step to bringing America back to where it needs to be with well planned structuring. Make no mistake President Obama and his team has went through this package with great detail and common sense tradegy (his vision and the help of State Officials to make it work).... can't help but boost America. I'm going to stand behind my President and keep learning and making others aware that are ill-informed. Bless President Obama's organizational skills and proved leadership abilities!

    February 14, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Linda in MS

    I am not an economist, but I do know that if it had not been for FDR and the New Deal, my grandmother and mother would have starved and been homeless. If it were not for FDR, you wouldn't have Social Security today. And I also know that the stimulus bill is a lot of money, but a lot of money needs to be pumped into the economy right away.
    Pres. Obama has done more good in a few short weeks than our previous President did in 8 years. I am proud of President Obama.

    February 14, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Yes We Can!

    Can anyone explain how the stimulas package is considered pork? Even items in the package that are getting complaints aren't even valid arguments. CNN and other news networks have been breaking down the specifics in the bill and I've been listening intently, to make my own judgements. I concluded this is just the first step to bringing America back to where it needs to be with well planned structuring. Make no mistake President Obama and his team has went through this package with great detail and common sense tradegy (his vision and the help of State Officials to make it work).... can't help but boost America. I'm going to stand behind my President and keep learning and making others aware that are ill-informed. Bless President Obama's organizational skills and proved leadership abilities!

    February 14, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Carol

    Only a Republican could compare this bill to planning a vacation before you find out if you can afford it. The way I see it is that the Republicans have been using all the money that was to be saved and spending it all on a vacation for themselves and all their friends. Now that it is time to fix the family budget you blame it on Democrats...give us a break.

    February 14, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Alvin

    Since when are the Republicans so worried about burdening future generations with debt!? They've been doing it for the last 8 years with Bush and suddenly they've seen the light. Gimme a break. Hypocrites one and all.

    February 14, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Chris

    Under Bush from 2001-2005 the unemployment rate was the lowest in the history of the United States. When the democrats took control of congress in 2006 the recession hit this country hard. Why cant people understand this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Rushpublicans dragging down America

    Fan of Common Sense @ 159: And when the stimulus works, I look forward to your comments supporting President Obama and his policies.

    February 14, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Jake

    I think I understand the GOP now:
    -gov't. spending to help their corporate buddies = good
    -gov't. spending to help the American people = bad

    February 14, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. BURNS

    WE ALL WILL KNOW HOW THE STIMU 'LESS" WORKS WHEN IT
    HITS OUR POCKET BOOKS. THATS HOW THESE CROOKS DO
    OUR BUSINESS FOR US DUMMIES. MANY SIGNED LOANS THE SAME WAY,NOT READING NOR UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE
    RAMIFICATIONS WOULD BE- CONGRESS THINKS WE ARE
    STUPID AS WELL AS THE OTHERS IN CONGRESS. CAREER
    POLITIANS THINK THAT THEY ARE GODS GIFT TO US ALL,NOT SO
    SAYS ME–HOPE THERE ARE MORE OUT THERE WITH EYESOPEN TO WHAT IS IN STORE FOR US ALL IF WE DON'T WAKE
    UP.

    VET NH

    February 14, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Barbara Campbell

    Now that taxpayer dollars are to be invested in the American people, the Republicans are suddenly concerned about spending and debt. They got us into this mess. "More of the same" won't get us out.

    February 14, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. pat

    I want the stimulus money to go for jobs – but only for citizens and for legal immigrants. Any other group (read illegals here) who profit from the stimulus by being given jobs that are paid out of taxpayer funding is dead wrong.

    Let's all write letters to Obama and tell him we want all illegals out of the U.S. immediately – they are draining our economy just as the bankers and Wall Street people are.

    If, in 2012, Obama gets only the Hispanic vote and the black vote he does not have a chance of winning – and – if it gets too bad in the meantime and he gives too much to the illegals, we should consider impeaching him well before 2012. -

    February 14, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. shakin the dust off of my shoes

    Time to move on Mr. Obama. If the GOP wants to play strategy instead of prosperity, then let's move on. They still get the invite, but no need to gnash teeth over their lack of participation.

    The country moves on.

    February 14, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. Brian, OR

    @Billy
    All of the tax cuts you cite were accompanied by large amounts of government spending.

    About the Republican solidarity in the house: If you have a Rrepublican congressman that represents your district, he does not represent you - he represents the Republican party (Boehner, Steelle, Forbes, banker losers, etc.).

    Susan Collins (R) ME, Olympia Snow (R) ME and Arlen Specter (R) PA = Profiles in Courage.

    February 14, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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