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. Larry from RI

    The cost of this stimulus is still far, far less than what Dubbya has left behind as his "legacy" and it will undoubtedly do more good for the common man than his gargantuan mess.

    The GOP has held the executive and both houses for 6 of the past 8 years and held both houses for 12 of the past fourteen years so fixing the mess they have left us will take more than the 3/12 weeks that Mr. Obama has been in office.

    For those of you nay-sayers out there – why don't you come back in 8 years then let us know how you feel because until then your opinion means little or nothing!

    You sound like the cobblers who needs new shoes!

    February 14, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Tom in S.A.

    Brad 1:52

    Right on!

    February 14, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. DP

    This bill is insane. How can congress throw in limits on company executives when at the same time they are just as bad. I think we need to start paying Congress with government bonds? Maybe they will start caring about the value of our money. I am sick of the government sticking us, the tax payer, with enormous tabs when we barely have enough money to pay our own bills. I did not support it when GW proposed it and I will not support it with BO. Democrats and Republicans alike need to stand up to Congress and take back our country. We are the ones who should decide what financial path we take. We, the people, are the ones who own the responsibility to take care of our neighbors and communities. Put the power back into local governments and let them decide where the money will be spent. The Federal government was meant to only have the power to provide security and look over federal and foreign affairs. They are going down a road to try to dictate what states and local governments can and cannot do. This is a direct violation of our constitutional rights. Where is the media when the people's rights are being trampled over?

    February 14, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. DP

    FreeNLovIt…You are more than welcome to pay my taxes! I am tired of the government taking my money so they can spend as they please. I work hard for my money. The government should not have the arbitrary right to impose taxes on it just because they think the unemployed need it. A little economics lesson: The more money I have to spend, the more purchases I can make. This leads to companies needing to hire more people to accomodate the increased business. I guess you do not understand this idea and would rather take my money so you can sit at home and collect a free check and health insurance while I work. Our tax system is so out of control, that the new head of the IRS cannot even figure it out. We need a 10% income tax across the board for workers. If you make $20,000, you pay $2,000. If you make $200,000, you pay $20,000. The top two tax brackets pay 80% of the income taxes in this country.

    February 14, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    Isn't it about time we stopped listening to ALL the equine excrement coming out of Alaska?

    February 14, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. mjm

    @Billy

    What does history say about spending $789 billion when you don't have it in the first place?

    Look at every state that has low taxes and you'll find that state doing well.

    Look at states with high taxes like California, Illinois, Michigan... not so good.

    Wealthy individuals create jobs. Not government.

    That's America….God bless it.

    February 14, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. jake

    No Larry it was bush and his rich buddies that got us in this mess

    February 14, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. vic cape coral fl

    Soon he will be king, we will be the serfs

    February 14, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    The stimulus plan is online somewhere. Do some Googles. You might need to get its exact title, because I don't think it is "stimulus package or plan"

    February 14, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Jim

    @ Justin: This bill was ruined from the start. The republicans had nothing to do with it. You really should study up on it and see where the money is going. You got it, special interest groups. Also, this bill promotes the hiring of illegal aliens, even over American Citizens. Bet you did not know that now did you???????

    February 14, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Pretty in Pink

    Congratulations President Obama on a job well done! FINALLY we can begin to move our country forward.

    I sincerely believe this is what the Republicans are afraid of. They know within their very souls that this plan will work and that our beloved President will be lauded for the GREAT TURNAROUND! The idea of that much praise for our President and his Administration is more than they can stomach.

    Their hatred and utter contempt for the Democrats is so great that they would rather the country fail than to see it suceed under this President.

    February 14, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Wisest one of All

    Good job! The democraps have inflicted their first strike in their effort to destroy this country. Proven Fact!

    This is the proof that ALL democraps are traitorous scum who hate and want the U. S. to fail. Another Proven Fact!

    February 14, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Gordon Shumway

    The major milestone was the official recognition that America is now a totally socialistic country and the government knows how to do "free enterprise" better than private citizens. Way to go Obama! You just accomplished what Osama couldn't.

    February 14, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. You Betcha !!!

    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.***WHAT in THE H_LL have you and your Repbubs buddies done including that CHESHIRE CAT Steele Absolutely Nothing ..you Guys had the same opportunity as the 3 Repubs that crossed over ....Yea but Rush is incharge ...Now go hunting with Palin and shut the H_LL UP!!

    February 14, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. rickbeagle

    "Low taxes are why states are doing well and others are not?"

    "The high taxes in California are the root cause of their budget shortfall?"

    These make great lines to pedal to the myopically stupid, but they are simply untrue.

    People, please read what Republicans are writing and respond appropriately, because we can not allow stupidity to flow back into mainstream unfettered (again). Logical and intellectual dissent should be encouraged, but the slick worded one liner lies need to be exposed for what they are.

    Anyone else a little sorry we didn't get to sixty in the Senate? We need to expunge a few abusive Democrats, but good work overall people!

    Rick Beagle

    February 14, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. JimmyE

    To Ms. Murkowski and all other Republican obstructionists, I'd like to let you know that as of now, your demonstrated greed and lies have not punished you enough at the polls. You have and continued to play foul on the intelligence and goodwill of your electorates. If the opinion polls mean anything to you, the American people have busted your lies and fear mongering tactics. So for your own good, get the facts straight and quit playing defense on failed ideologies of trickle down economics. Please work with the facts that you have which Republicans like myself and the majority of Americas have - that the last Republican administration irresponsibility destroyed the fabrics of the US economy via greed and only tending blindly to excesses of the big corporations and members of congress. The only fact that we don’t have that you, Ms. Murkowski and the majority of your congressional Republican colleagues have remains, the total dollar value of the bribes that you all are receiving from big corporations which continually intoxicates your narrow vision to prey on the innocent citizens.

    February 14, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Action

    Yeah..Senator Murkowski...that's just what we're doing..planning a vacation...others call that going back to work and keeping our homes..buying something other than Ramen for dinner...not having to tell our children we can't afford college for them....some vacation huh?

    When this is all over...voters will remember the Republicans as the people who put party over the well being of the Republic and its citizens. They will remember and the Repulican Party will be in political exile for decades to come.

    Couldn't happen to nicer people....

    February 14, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Chipster

    Ken,
    You and short-sighted conservatives have latched onto the "Pet Mouse" funding as if it is a frivolous item. I don't live in California but I can tell you that, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a desperate and costly attempt has been going on for many years to correct the damage done to our wetlands. If you think this is not an economic issue, you are very wrong.

    Seafood is a huge industry and our carelessness and disregard for small, even microscopic, creatures that maintain the balance in our wetlands has cost the industry $billions! You better believe that states in the watershed are investing huge sums of money in protecting these creatures. It's Economics 101 and the conservative "consume, consume, consume" philosophy has led us to the brink of disaster. They talk a lot about God but know little about stewardship of God's gifts.

    February 14, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. peakarack

    BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS WILL BANKRUPT THIS COUNTRY.

    February 14, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. don't blame me I didn't vote for Obama

    Typical politics, keep the rich rich, the poor poor, and send America deeper into debt with this PORK BILL!
    I think Obama needs to go back to his home country of Kenya where the ground he walks on is worshiped.
    I don't agree with this stimulus package, and not one democrat cares because their god is in office and he can do no wrong.
    This package will send us deeper into recession if not a full blown depression.
    Farewell democracy
    Hello socialism and or communism.

    February 14, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Is This "Change"

    $30 million to to protect the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse in the home district of Nancy Pelosi?? That is a Major Milestone?
    How is that an Economic recovery plan?
    Can Obama be prosecuted for stealing from my grandchildren. Unreal

    February 14, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. 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 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Rorschach

    "Wisest one of All", February 14th, 2009 3:02 pm ET said:

    "Good job! The democraps have inflicted their first strike in their effort to destroy this country. Proven Fact!

    This is the proof that ALL democraps are traitorous scum who hate and want the U. S. to fail. Another Proven Fact!"

    - What is your definition of "proof"? Because you said so? I'm so not impressed.

    February 14, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Rachel

    I can't believe the ignorant, and I mean ignorant comments by some of the GOP supporters. Are those of you who make negative comments about the stimulus bill economists? Have you read what the economists say or do you only listen to Fox News, and your GOP leaders. Because your GOP leaders and you are the ones who are wrong. How dare you say that Democrats want America's destruction wisest one. You do not sound wise at all! You sound uneducated about what a "stimulus package" even means. The Republicans are a very negative influence on our country. This is history repeating itself and they will see that even more clearly in the next election. Those of you who blindly support them should at least try to read other sources besides Fox , Limbaugh, Hannity or your friends. Why don't you listen to experts? You sound uneducated and therefore foolish making such nasty and irrational comments.....

    February 14, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Ron L

    Everyone who is focusing on the so called pork need to realize a few things.
    1) The total amount of what people all calling pork is less than 1% of the total package.
    2) If you are so OFFENDED write your Senator or Congress member
    and tell them that you don't want your state to receive ANY of the money!!
    3) Too many Americans are SMALL MINDED and easily manipulated by the media and their politicians. Some of the remarks being made about this are really irrevelant and plain shw boating. What is important is the money needs to be tracked and used properly. If this is done it will become a WIN-WIN for everyone.
    A lot of people do not realize MANY ECONOMIC EXPERTS ( Conservative and Liberal) actually feel the amount is TOO SMALL for a 15 trillion dollar economy!!
    And just for the record, the Republicans who are telling you it could have been reduced to $400 billion and worked..THEY ARE LYING!!! And they know it!!

    February 14, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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