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. john

    its amazing the comments on here nothing constructive jsut raw emotion...this is why we are in this situation now... WAKE UP PEOPLE AND BE PRODUCTIVE

    January 27, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Independant Vet


    January 27, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Mike

    That's right is name is Barack H. Obama.

    That's right he loves all people regardless of religion.

    That's right, he is going to do 100 times better than Bush!!

    January 27, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. obama-mama

    Everybody was in a hurry to sign the stimulus when GW was in office and where did it go? Now that the republicans can't set some of the bailout money for their special friends because there will be transparency and accountability they don't want any parts of it.....Unbelievable. I say the government should give the taxpayers their money. We worked for it.

    January 27, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. tess

    if o'bama can get pelosi under control and tape her stupid mouth shut maybe he can begin to get congress to do some of the work he wants done! after shutting her up he needs to lock reid in a closet where nobody can see that the man has lost his mind and hopefully somebody else can take over leadership of the house – that man has had it!

    January 27, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Eddo

    My questions are:
    1. How does sodding the mall create long-term jobs?
    2. How many jobs will be created by giving money to the NEA?

    If Obama is sincere, he will demand that Democrats in Congress remove such pork.

    January 27, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. American

    The economy is going to hell and what do we have here...more divisiveness from hateful Republicans

    January 27, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Robin

    I think they are working together, and are both willing to compromise. That is what we need. We saw the last stimulus did not do what it was meant to do.

    They need to go into this $875 Billion stimulus the right way. We can't afford for this one to fail. I have not doubt it will be approved no later then the end of next week and will have in place safeguards that the last one did not. I have faith in the president (who I did not vote for by the way).

    January 27, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Christian Believer/Vet for Obama

    This is absolute CRAP. Thank God Obama has the courage to stand up to the Democants and argue against this. How is $200M for family planning going to spur the economy. Isn't this suppossed to be an economic stimulus and not a birth control stimulus. Pelosi/Reid better watch out, the ball is in their court and if they screw this up it will be 1994 all over again.

    This country needs WISE judgement, so far our Congress has failed to give that to us.

    January 27, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. sam

    get used to it repubs.......

    January 27, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Jo

    NARAL supported Obama and they are the first under the bus. Why is it when the men speak of compromise it is always the women who end up with the bad part of the compromise. If the democrats who promised change if we gave them a big majority cannot figure out what to do with that majority then they do not deserve our support.

    January 27, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Lisa

    I can NOT believe our government is still playing games with the American people's economic tailspin! It has long angered me the sly politics of slipping things into bills that have NO relevance to the bill itself and then used as blackmail to hold up the process. I live in a small town that has an unemployment rate of 15% and rising due to another plant shutting down. We could use $200 million dollars to help our little town. As for contraception, the many poor people in this area would rather have a roof over their head, something to eat, and a job. The problem with contraception in this poor area is not that they do not have it, it is whether or not they will use it. By the way, the plant that was closed, it moved out of the country.

    January 27, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Margie

    If we don't give people birth control when they can't afford it, we'll be paying for a baby they can't afford. Birth control is less expensive than babies.

    January 27, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Derel

    Stag you should go back and reread the article, BHO wants that taken out of the bill because it does not stimulate the economy. Which IS change because instead of just letting these leaders add items due to special interest, he is asking them to remove any unnecessary fluff.

    January 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. lizz

    i am sick of those comments that spear hatred on race and religions.

    The extremists (whatever your race and religion is) are too self-centered. Because of these people, the world is never at peace.

    Who are you to label others as terrorists?
    And who are you to state the supremacy of your race?

    There is no "white", "black" or "color" people. Everyone has different shades and tones on their skins. Just think, how would you feel if people call you black or color who is lower in rank.

    January 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Bob McGraw

    The failed regime of Limbaugh Republicanism is over. Time to be "patriotic and support the President", as they have lectured us on doing for 8 years.

    January 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Frank

    To Time for a new Senate/Congress. Bush was and still is a clown. I know the GOP hates intellectuals, so it stands to reason you wopuldn't like the Cabinet. You will always have hate radio for consolation.

    January 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Joseph Janerique

    This just shows , what America already knows, Obama is our man. We as americans should continue through out, with supportive appreciatment, as Obama will be the one that makes our hearts melt. I believe strongly that we can turn the economy around, It is just about everyone working to find solutions. For there will probably be solutions, than rather one. If we all work together we will come together.

    Uniting the U.S.A....

    January 27, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Bill

    Obama has made more progress in a week than Bush did in 8 years.

    Congress may be "feeling pressure" because Obama knows how badly Americans are hurting. We have go to do something to get people back to work. The job losses are catastrophic. We need money pumped into the hands of people/organizations that will spend and hire. This may put a burden on future generations. But better to do that than become a 3rd world country now.

    As far as tax cuts go, a tax cut will not benefit someone who is unemployed. Tax cuts may work for small business, but for all of the Americans who have lost and will lose their jobs, a tax cut is no help at all.

    January 27, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Virginia

    Scary to think that we could be paying $200 million for condoms that won't even get used. No need to use them when an abortion can be gotten so easily. Really, stop the needless pork and do something, Mr. Prez!

    January 27, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. sam

    i hope they spend money on everything they always wanted and more....just don't give a dime to those making more than joe the plummer.....roflmao.....lol.....hahahahah.....heheheh......

    January 27, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Tyrone Brown

    One thing is for sure – members of both houses of Congress and across party lines – have better work with President Obama and come up with a stimulus package. To paraphrase our new President, this is no time for "childish games.” The American people will be patient with both parties – up to a point – but we did not spend two-years fighting to bring "real change" to Washington, to have Democrats and Republicans making things needlessly difficult for our new President and his administration “to get the job done." Those representatives who don't understand this are headed for a rude awakening.

    ...and YES WE WILL!

    Tyrone Brown
    Proud Obamacrat
    Seattle, Washington

    January 27, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. HowDareYou

    Americans wouldn't know "concillation" and "compromise" if it hit'em in the face.

    Now that we have a President who is willing to do just that, BONER and his GOP idots are not willing to do the same to HELP US!


    January 27, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Bob in Pa

    Maybe he could have just asked all teh fat cats that came to his coming out party to donate some money instead.

    January 27, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |

    forget the stimulus package as it is writen . Change it to read


    This would start the road to recovery much faster that giving it to corporate greed and CEO,S

    By giving it to the legal taxpayers it would be in the mainstream of America.

    January 27, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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