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. stag

    $200 million for condoms...now THAT is change we can believe in. Go get 'em BHO.

    January 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Blue State NC

    Why are Republicans/conservatives so against working together to better America? At a young age, I looked at political figures and wondered why they couldn't just work together to accomplish great things.

    Now, we have a President who shares that idea, but poeple of both parties are crying foul. Virtually every comment left by a Republican for any political ticker story on this site is full of hatred, shelfishness and narcissism. It is as if they are upset that they were not the ones to create useful ideas and policies, even if they would otherwise agree with those ideas and policies. I'm reading comments that state that the writer does not want the Republican party to "give in". Well, folks, that is why your party is on it's death bed.

    I also read comments left by Democrats/liberals suggesting that we should not "give in". How, then, are we going to get anywhere without compromise?

    Just as we learned in kindergarten, we can't always have our way. Many people leaving comments on this website need to return to kindergarten and quit attempting to impose your will on the rest of society.

    January 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. beevee

    If the leaders of either party are being unreasonable in accepting Obama's stimulus package with changes that are reasonable and are not meant to help their businessan friends, first Obama should try to discuss with them the merits of his plan and accommodate their view point if they have real merit. If they are still adament in accepting his plan which is going to help all americans regardless of their party affiliation, Mr. Obama should take his plan to american people directly. Then all the leaders in both houses will come to their senses. They need to get reelcted as peoples representatives.

    January 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Jim

    Right. Because we need poor folks to keep reproducing to maintain our steady supply of corporate wage slaves.

    Plus, compromising with the GOP has always worked out so well for Democrats.

    January 27, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Dadedi

    Show them what you are made of Obama! Bring jobs!

    January 27, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. change, yeah right......

    Family planning has now become, how will we pay the mortage, the kids college, the heating bill, for food on the table..... If you really want to stimulate the economy, stop giving corporations billions of taxpayers money, to waste on bonuses, jets and dividends. It was these same execs greed that caused this mess to begin with. Why are we financing them while they continue their I got mine mentality?Give it back to the taxpayer! Give each taxpayer $50,000 or $100,000, far less than the bailout packages, and watch the economy turn around overnight. No more foreclosures, new buyers for houses, buyers for cars, all with the money they have to pay back anyway. Barak, stop the Washington as usual, as you had promised and actually do something for the people who elected you!

    January 27, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Ray Fisher

    It should be an unspoken rule that whenever the nation is in crisis, pork is not allowed!!! While family planning may be on someone's agenda, they can keep their legs crossed till we recover!!!

    Priorities folks!!!

    January 27, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. lizz

    Frankly, this economy crisis is more severe than it appears to be.

    I don't think anyone can do much to help. But not doing anything to prevent would lead to worst situations in which everybody will suffer.

    Stimulus package is costly. Without it, it might cost more in future. So, the Repug, please coorperate....

    January 27, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. American

    The Republican party of rich white men are soon to be extinct. We had 8 years of Bush tax cuts and look where its gotten us. Its pure mean spiritedness on their part and shows a contempt for working families in this country.

    January 27, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Ajay

    He is facing an uphill battle against stubborn republicans. Hope he proves to them once again that he will win again.

    January 27, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. KC

    There is not enough job stimulus in this package Mr. President. Not enough at all. Too much pork, too much fulfilling campaign promises, too much on "junk". Let's get realistic....these are hard times. Spend money only where it is needed, only where it will do something for the economy and create jobs. All other "fluff" can be removed. We, the American people" demand more from Washington than this.

    January 27, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. Ray Ray

    What happened to the "I WON" approach, Obama?? You mean gloating isn't an effective bi-partisan appeal??

    Obama is a muslim-loving idiot?

    January 27, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Teacher

    We have lived with 8 years of Republican regime that got us into this mess. Now it's their turn to accept our ideas and take a new direction. I am tired of the Republicans always thinking they know whats right. They have proved they don't.

    January 27, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. NEL E BELL

    TO TO MUCH, WAY TO FAST AND NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND AGAIN. WE SHOULD LIVE AND DIE BY THIS MOTTO, " FOLLOW THE MONEY". AMERICANS KNOW HOW TO MAKE AND SAVE ITS OUR TOP LEVEL THE QUOTE LEADERS OF BUSINESS, BANKING AND GOV'T. , THAT DON'T KNOW THE VALUE OF OUR MONEY, THAT IS UNTIL THEY TURN IT FROM OURS TO THEIRS!

    January 27, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. David

    At the very least he's reaching his hands out to them. I hope they don't bite it off.

    January 27, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. walter

    Oh Lord, where is Ronald Reagan when we need him??

    January 27, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Pat

    While I am sad to see the family planning provision discarded (for the time being) I am happy to see President Obama reaching out to Republicans to help get the stimulus package approved. WE NEED JOBS NOW! People who have jobs earn money, pay taxes, and help the economy! Obama knows this and knows this has to happen and fast!
    GO OBAMA!!

    January 27, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Danny in Chicago

    Well said Blue State NC!!!

    I couldnt say it any better (seriously....I couldnt.) and I agree with you 100%.

    Thank God for the few good comments that CNN actually posts!

    January 27, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. barack obama is still just B.O.

    Having trouble walking the walk?
    Not that it wasn't expected by any realist, just not by the worshipers.

    But he is a miracle worker. He made Bush look like a genius in only 1 week.

    January 27, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Lisa in Mission Viejo

    NOTHING should be in that stimulus bill that doesn't promote job growth, financial recovery. PERIOD. I'm a moderate Democrat and I'm often baffled by these liberal Democrats and their agendas. Enough already. Get this thing through, without any pork or other idealogical cr*p!

    January 27, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Tracy M.

    We need to get off the comments page and start contacting our representatives! I heard Boehner say Sunday that the education package "will not stimulate our economy." What part of long-term does he not understand? YES we need to shore up our educational system for future generations. YES we need to provide birth control options for low-income women to lessen our burdens as taxpayers. Jeez, guys, think ahead. NO MORE BAND-AIDS!

    January 27, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Becky from Ohio

    Making contraception available to everyone who needs it is important, but it doesn't have anything to do with economic stimulus. Dealing with the economy has to be a bipartisan effort if the country is going to recover. We all need to get behind the President on this and get America back on the tracks. The last thing the country needs in this emergency is obstructionism–from either side of the aisle.

    January 27, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. southerncousin

    We already spent $3 trillion on the failed "great society" programs that produced a dumber more entitled citizen ( and of course millions of non citizens) in this country. Now the communists and thugocracy want us to spend another 16 trillion to for more entitlements and socialist programs. By the way Al Gore, I am very cold at this moment, screw your global warming.

    January 27, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Why?

    Republicans just pushed things through without any consideration of the Democrats when they were in control. Why are the Dems cowering now? They are in control and need to buck up and show some guts!

    January 27, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Independent in DC

    Well said Blue State NC...well said indeed

    January 27, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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