NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - A day after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said it would be a few weeks before he unveils a solution for the housing crisis, regulators and lawmakers pressed financial institutions to suspend foreclosures until the plan comes out.
Geithner, who laid out a broad overview of the Obama's administration's plan to attack the financial meltdown, said Tuesday that the federal government would commit $50 billion to preventing foreclosures by reducing monthly payments. Details would be forthcoming, he said.
Until that loan modification plan is released, foreclosures should be halted, some say.
"I would ask all of you now to please make sure that we have a moratorium in effect," Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., told top bank executives at a hearing Wednesday. "It would be until we get that program, and until you know if people can qualify. Having someone suffer foreclosure because two weeks hadn't gone by for this program would be unacceptable."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The size of the final stimulus bill, still being worked on at this hour, has dipped to about $789 billion, according to several senators involved in negotiations and other Democratic sources.
That figure is lower than either the House or Senate bills - though Democrat Ben Nelson warned CNN Wednesday that number could change as discussions continue.
Nelson, Susan Collins and other centrist senators spoke as they returned to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office to continue ongoing talks with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Budget Director Peter Orszag.
Collins and others continue to say they're narrowing their differences, and remain optomistic they can reach agreement today.
(CNN) - When Air Force One touches down in Fort Myers, Florida, Tuesday morning, the weather will be different than northern Indiana. Little else will be.
President Barack Obama won't see anyone in earmuffs at the airport or remnants of dirty snow along the motorcade route to the town hall meeting. But like their rust belt compatriots in Elkhart, residents in Lee County are among the hardest hit by the economic downturn.
Fort Myers restaurant manager Debbie Kendall sees it every day.
"People are very nervous," she said of her customers. "Maybe even scared. Everything is so up in the air."
The cold, hard numbers: Unemployment in the Gulf Coast community was 2.3 percent at this time in 2006. By last winter, it was 6 percent. The latest numbers put the jobless rate in Lee County at 10 percent. That translates to 28,396 people looking for work.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The amended economic recovery bill that the Senate is expected to pass on Tuesday would increase the deficit by $838 billion over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday.
That is less than the $885 billion the CBO estimated the original Senate bill would cost last week. But it's still larger than the roughly $820 billion stimulus bill passed by the House two weeks ago.
Republicans and some Democrats criticized the size of the original Senate package.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., led a small, bipartisan group of senators last week to reduce the price tag by roughly $100 billion.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration's $827 billion economic stimulus plan has survived a key vote in the Senate, putting a compromise version of the bill on track for passage Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will introduce President Obama tomorrow at a Florida town hall meeting plugging the stimulus plan.
Crist was one of 19 governors, including four Republicans, to release a joint letter publicly urging Congress to to pass the president’s stimulus package — a move that earned him an appreciative phone call from Obama.
The Florida governor has said he wants to help Obama push for the measure. The bill is currently being considered by the Senate after failing to draw GOP support in the House.
“Florida has taken prudent steps to cut taxes for our people and balance our budget in these increasingly difficult times,” Crist said in a statement released by the White House Monday. “Any attempts at federal stimulus must prioritize job creation and targeted tax relief for small business owners. I am eager to welcome President Obama to the Sunshine State as he continues to work hard to reignite the US economy.”
Tuesday’s event in Fort Myers — the second of Obama’s stimulus town halls — will be held the same day the administration is slated to announce its economic recovery plan.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans approve of the job Barack Obama's doing as President - but the economic stimulus package he's trying to push through Congress is not nearly as popular.
Seventy-six percent of those quesioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday give President Obama a thumbs-up when it comes to the way he's performing his duties, with 23 percent disapproving of the way Obama's handling his job as president.
The poll's release comes the same day President Obama heads out on the road to Elkhart, Indiana, to help promote his plan to jump-start the economy, and holds a prime time news conference from the White House to pitch the plan.
While the President puts on a full court press, the debate over the more than $800 billion bill, which includes increased government spending and tax cuts, appears to have split the public. A slight majority, 54 percent, favor the bill, with 45 percent opposed.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After spending his first days in the White House wining and dining the opposition — literally — President Obama took a tougher tone Wednesday, reprising some of his harshest trail rhetoric over criticism of his stimulus plan as its Senate fate remains in doubt.
“In the last few days, we've seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read, but you'd be very familiar with, because you've been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer,” he said in comments delivered at the Department of Energy. “They're rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems, that government doesn't have a role to play, that half- measures and tinkering are somehow enough, that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges: the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
“So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They've taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over $1 trillion. And they've brought our economy to a halt. And that's precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment, and now's the time to move forward, not back. Now's the time for action.”
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed that the president was increasingly unhappy with the holdup. "He said the time to talk is over," Gibbs told reporters. "I think it’s fair to read impatience into that."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama is privately telling senators in both parties he is confident his economic recovery plan will pass in the Senate by the end of the week, according to two senior administration officials and two congressional officials.
"We will have the votes," said a senior administration official.
In a closed-door meeting Wednesday, the president said that he was "cautiously optimistic" that he could round up at least 60 votes to cut off a possible filibuster, a Senate official added.
The fate of the package has been in some doubt as the president ran into opposition from moderate Democrats and Republicans in the Senate who are concerned about spending projects in the package.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Democrats will begin running a series of radio ads Tuesday targeting 28 Republicans who voted against President Obama’s economic recovery plan.
It is the latest political ad campaign launched in the past week directly related to the stimulus bill. The weeklong radio campaign coincides with a more direct voter contact approach designed to reach three million people through email and another 100,000 by telephone, according to an official with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
One of the ads accuses Republicans of helping to bail out banks, while another highlights support for rebuilding schools in Iraq, and then casting a vote against the stimulus package. The Republican congressmen are mentioned by name in the ads that run in their districts.
Not one Republican supported the bill when it came up for a vote in the House, because they argued it was flawed by among other things, wasteful spending. But it still passed, because of the Democratic Party's strong majority in that chamber. The Senate begins debate on it Monday.
Full list of Republican's targeted after the jump