January 27th, 2009
01:15 PM ET
9 years ago

President Obama working phones for stimulus

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/27/art.obamahill.gi.jpg caption="Obama is pressing members of Congress to vote for the stimulus bill"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama is taking a hands-on approach in shaping the $825 billion economic stimulus package under consideration by Congress, urging his fellow Democrats to take out provisions he feels are unnecessary and controversial, according to a senior administration official.

An Obama aide said the President has personally called House Democratic leaders recently to urge them to remove a $200 million family planning provision which would have made it easier for states to use federal funds to provide contraception for poor families.

One of those calls was to Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California, chairman of the House Energy Committee and one of the most influential liberal members in the House. The Obama aide said the President urged Waxman and other Democrats to take out the provision because it was a hot-button issue among Republicans, and did not focus on the mandate of creating jobs as quickly as possible.

In trying to win over Republicans, President Obama is also bringing a Republican ally along for his trip on the Hill. By his side will be his Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the former congressman from Illinois, who is one of two Republicans in his Cabinet. The moderate LaHood is a veteran of Capitol Hill, and a longtime friend of Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, with whom he co-hosted bipartisan dinners as a member of Congress.


Filed under: President Obama • stimulus plan
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. katiec

    President Obama, do not compromise your principals and beliefs to try to pacify the republicans. They will never be satisfied regardless of how much effort you try for unification.
    They nearly destroyed our country and appear to have no interest in righting their wrongs.
    Let them continue to self destruct. We, the American people are intelligent enough to see through their hypocritical actions.

    January 27, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Marina

    I've come to the sad conclusion that many republicans are so politicized that they don't put what best for the U.S. at the forefront of their agenda. Barack Obama should just do what he thinks is right and let republicans complain. They would do that anyway no matter how nice he treats them. GOP = Gimpy Obstructionists Party

    January 27, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Andrew

    Now this is how a president should do it.

    January 27, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Darko

    75% of this money will not be spent in the next 2 years and the experts can't say how many or if it will produce any permanent jobs.

    I won't claim to be a genius...but THIS IS STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Meh

    Why take it out entirely? Why not just reduce the amount?

    January 27, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Dave

    Good for the President! I disagree with many things he proposes, but I voted for him anyway because I do believe things in Washington need to change. He'll earn my vote again four years from now by not espousing a "my way or the highway" approach. There are good ideas on both sides.

    January 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Stacy from Leesburg VA

    The prevision for contraception has no place in the stimulus package. The biggest obstacles in this whole procedure will be the pie-in-the-sky liberals that want tack on a bunch of pork for pet projects (i.e. Nancy Pelosi) or GOP tyrants such as John Boehner. We need to focus on a series of job creation measures: Green Economy-Energy Independence, Infrastructure Improvements, Updating the Power Grid, Rebuilding Schools, etc and targeted tax cuts and credits for companies that put Americans First. It is no time to push for liberal agendas or pander to whiny conservatives. The people demand a lot better from the legislature and we are watching.

    January 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Wow - a Change We Can Believe In

    A president who personally gets involved, actually tries to work with congress, and asks his own party to remove pet provisions to accommodate the other side and maintain focus. Now that is indeed Change (as promised, I might add).

    Let's see how the conservative hate mongering wedgie republicans try to spin this into something bad.

    January 27, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Sharon Kitchen

    Time is now for economical repair.
    Obama is right.
    Everyone in congress needs to help.......NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Frost

    Just like the Republicans to want to keep it for themselves to loan it to big money to buy jets. No more bailouts, give all money back to the people. If the people in Detroit want to invest in their company or the employees of citi bank want to invest back then so be it.

    Time these company's remember they are there and working for the people not the people working for them.

    Let us decide what we want to buy, spend or invest or just bank..

    economic stimulus will not work in buying one jet.. or flying big wigs around in a jet..

    give the money to the people, we have to burden the loan in the end anyway, we have to pay it back to our children and to the future..

    it should be our choice..

    Frost from Tennessee

    people have money they will spend.. if its veggies they buy for food, it helps the farmer, if it's a car.. if it's a home, get the picture..

    January 27, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Mary

    Why should tax payer money go towards ending the life of an innocent baby? There are too MANY couples wanting babies so why end their life???? Give them to these couples!!!

    Plus taking a baby in second tri-mester that is SINFUL!!! When a baby is fighting to get away from the machine that is fixing to destroy it – is SINFUL!!! How can you sleep at night OBAMA?

    January 27, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. carlo

    Don't cave in Obama! The Republicans are not going to vote for the plan no matter what you give up or give in to. They could care less about this country. All they are concerned about now is how to gain back power, and they will flush this country down the toilet to get it done.

    January 27, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Mickie

    What a novel concept – a President who actually works and cares about the voters - who would have guessed (certainly not the republicans).

    January 27, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Nobama Noway

    Gee, I wish he would call me. I would give this Marxist an earful. No I would not cave to the Messiah.

    January 27, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. john w

    Barrys' campaign promise...no more pork...so much for that one...next

    January 27, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. BB

    Send the illegals back to their countries to have their babies. Especially California. That will cut the welfare roles also. Come on, Arnie. Illegals are the biggest problem. Well, and all the imported green-carders that are taking American Jobs.

    January 27, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. BB

    Hunger causes anger. Riots will follow shortly, starting in California.

    January 27, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. David

    I have a big problem with the Republicans they are the main group that drove us into the ditch, but have know ideas to get us out. Other than to say that every idea Obama and Democrats come up with is wrong even when they add some their ideas to package. My question to them is lets hear your plan and if you don't have one shut up.

    January 27, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Anonymous

    So far, so good. Obama continues to walk the talk in terms of reaching out to the Republicans.

    Even if you're in favor of family planning and contraception, and I am, it's hard to see how it has anything to do with economic stimulus. Give the GOP credit, they are right on this one.

    I know it may be hard to believe, and I don't blame the cynics for being cynical, but I really do think Obama intends to be President for all Americans, even ones he doesn't agree with. If he keeps up this course of respect to the GOP, only good things can result.

    January 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. Lisa in Florida

    When I heard about the family planning piece of the bill on the news last night I said to myself that this is not the time to be putting in things that are ethically based to stir controversy and should be taken out of the stimulus bill. Seems the President agrees. Common sense prevails in the Obama administration. Isn't it refreshing? Keep up the good work Mr. President. Your intelliegence and practicality and common sense become you.

    January 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. kevin

    I really hope the pork gets removed we were scammed on the tarp money if they don't get this to go where it needs to be then Reid and Polosi Should both be removed from the leadership just like any under performing private sector manager would be

    January 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Time for a new Senate/Congress

    With some of the appoinments that hat been confirmed I'm beginning to wonder if the president's name should'nt be Kwame Kilpatrick or Blago?

    January 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. rooty, sc

    I hope he gets back on that phone and asks them to remove the provision for giving ACORN money also. How does giving a non-profit organization (who uses volunteers) count as stimulating the economy? Oh, I forgot – this organization donated large sums of money to the Democrats.

    January 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Mike

    I thought this stimulus plan was Obama's Plan.

    He should not have included Dem. pork in the Plan.

    January 27, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Ayse-London

    President Obama is putting his neck on the line to get this package approved. The public and politicians need to get behind this in order to not get back-tracked in stalling any possible improvement in the economy. Every minute the politicians waste in tit for tat equals thousands of job losses and home repossessions.

    January 27, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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