Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama heads back to Ohio Friday, his eighth trip to the politically important state since assuming the presidency a year and a half ago.
The mission for this latest visit is to help kick off what the White House calls "Recovery Summer," a six week long push to highlight what the administration says will be a summer and fall of job creation fueled by a surge in federal stimulus spending across the country. Obama travels to Columbus, Ohio, to mark the groundbreaking of what's touted as the 10,000 Recovery Act road project to get underway.
The president was last in Ohio on May 18, when he defended the federal stimulus and tore into political opponents for what he claimed is political hypocrisy and a defense of failed policies. Obama spoke at a steel pipe plant in Youngstown, Ohio that used funds from the Recovery Act to add more than 300 jobs.
Obama's first visit to Ohio as president, on March 6 of last year, was also to tout the stimulus. The president attended a police class graduation in Columbus that was made possible in part due to federal funding from the Recovery Act.
The stimulus, which is formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was designed to stimulate the country's economy by increasing federal government spending and cutting taxes at a total cost to the government of $862 billion.
Washington(CNN) - Although the overall stimulus bill is unpopular, most of its basic provisions are favored by a large majority of Americans, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning indicates that 80 percent of the public favors government spending on roads and bridges, and 83 percent approves of aid to unemployed workers. Seven in 10 support the idea of spending some of that stimulus money on tax cuts, and 62 percent think it's a good idea to increase spending on mass transit projects.
Then why is the stimulus bill so unpopular?
"Because, as we have seen throughout the week, there is much skepticism that the bill is wasteful, full of politically-motivated projects, and has benefitted fat cats at the expense of ordinary Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The positive aspects of the stimulus bill, such as infrastructure improvements and tax cuts, seem to have taken a back seat to those negatives."
According to a CNN poll released Sunday, 56 percent of the public opposes the stimulus, with 42 percent supportive of the plan. Last March, just weeks after the stimulus bill was signed into law by President Obama, a CNN survey indicated that 54 percent supported the program, with 44 percent opposed.
(CNN) – Just one week after Sarah Palin stepped down as governor of Alaska, Alaskan lawmakers succeeded in overriding her veto of federal stimulus dollars.
The legislature voted Monday 45-15 in favor of overturning the former governor's veto of more than $28 million in Recovery Act funds targeted toward energy efficiency projects.
The Alaska legislature met for a one-day special session in Anchorage. Heading into the vote, Rep. Mike Hawker, who voted in support of finally accepting the stimulus funds, anticipated a close decision, coming down to a couple of votes either way.
“I think it's tight,” the Anchorage Republican said before the vote. A veto override in Alaska requires a three-fourths majority of the entire legislature.
Palin rejected the Department of Energy money in May and continues to defend the controversial move.
"As Governor, I did my utmost to warn our legislators that accepting stimulus funds will further tie Alaska to the federal government and chip away at Alaska's right to chart its own course," Palin wrote on her Facebook page Sunday. "Enforcing the federal building code requirements, which Governor Parnell and future governors will be forced to adopt in order to accept these energy funds, will eventually cost the state more than it receives."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - "It is time for Congress to act, and I hope they act in a bipartisan fashion," President Obama said when he went to Peoria, Illnois, on Thursday to argue for his economic stimulus plan.
Congress acted. But bipartisan? Not so much.
The plan passed the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote, and got only a token number - three - of Republican votes in the Senate.
"All the talk about bipartisanship that we have heard over the last several months went down the drain," House Republican leader John Boehner complained on Friday.
Obama also ran into a wall in his effort to build a bipartisan cabinet when his choice for Secretary of Commerce, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, withdrew his name from nomination.
(CNN) – The U.S. Senate gave final approval Friday to a $787 billion recovery package that President Obama hopes will help boost an economy in freefall with a combination of government spending and tax cuts and credits.
Approved earlier by the House, the plan - which went through multiple permutations as it bounced back and forth on Capitol Hill over the past week - now goes to Obama's desk, where he plans to sign it into law by Presidents Day.
Spending in the package includes about $120 billion for infrastructure - new projects repairing bridges, roads, government buildings and the like - more than $100 billion for education and $30 billion on energy-related projects that Obama says will create "green jobs."
More than $212 billion goes to tax breaks for individuals and businesses, and another $267 billion is in direct spending like food stamps and unemployment benefits.
CAPITOL HILL (CNN) - Just hours after Congressional leaders posted the final version of a $789 billion stimulus deal, staffers on Capitol Hill faced both a surge of demand on key Web sites and an apparent technical glitch that crashed those sites off and on throughout the morning.
A spokesman for the Senate appropriations committee told CNN Radio that their site had been up and down all Friday morning. He said technicians had found an apparent server problem that was not related to increased demand.
The technical issue crashed the system at one of the most high-profile moments in years, intermittently blocking the Appropriations homepage and some of the few other sites where taxpayers could find the details of the economic stimulus deal Democrats posted specifics to the Internet late Thursday night. Staffers said that technology crews were working to fix the problem and restore the sites.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – Nearly a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced a $789 billion-dollar final economic stimulus deal, congressmen still had not seen a printed bill, or even a written summary of the legislation.
Most lawmakers, staffers and reporters Thursday were depending on just a handful of details given out the day before by Reid, Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, and two key negotiators, Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine and Senator Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska.
Collins read off some figures from a handwritten and somewhat crumpled sheet of paper.
(CNN) – Democratic leadership sources say they have worked out a way around the disagreement on the stimulus bill between the Senate and House over education funding.
Details on how they worked it out are not yet available, but a Democratic source says they have come up with an agreement now that everyone – House Democrats and moderate Senate Republicans – can live with.
Senators had slashed direct funding for school construction – a top priority for Democrats – and instead set aside money for governors to use on school modernization and rehabilitation. House Democrats did not believe that would ultimately be targeted enough to school districts in need.