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. Dilligaf

    I got an idea, why don't you kill the whole fricking bailout plan?! It's $825 BILLION, and the Chosen One highlights a fricking $200 MILLION line item! Hands on?! Give me a fricking break from this idiot!

    January 27, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Melissa

    The novelty has started to wear off already now that he's making bullcrap decisions and waving his powerstick.
    Starting not to look like such a good choice, putting someone in office with no experience, isn't it? Good job, voters.

    January 27, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. America's Completely Full of Idiots (but there are a few)

    I gotta quit reading these comments... It's a bit depressing to think there are this many wack-jobs running around this country!

    That said; I like Obama's approach. He's basically telling the Dems and the GOP "Here is what I want to do" and is asking them to either agree or, at the very least, propose solutions of their own. Basically [crap] or get off the pot because we have to do SOMETHING so let's find what's the best answers available. Unfortunately there is no one answer that will make everyone happy so compromise is essential. The scary thing is that people find this to be objectionable.

    I see why George Bush was elected in the first place; there are still too many uninformed people out there who think like him.

    January 27, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Joe Flight

    To all the people who have nothing but BS to say about Obama. If you dont like our President, get the hell out of our country. You might not have been Obama supporters, but if you dont like what he is doing with our country, then get the hell out of MY country terrorists. You are most likely McCain supporters. Dont worry hes going to do alright with Budweiser and his new line of cologne Formaldehyde

    January 27, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. FQ

    Obama '12

    January 27, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. sharon

    I can't believe the head of the IRS is a tax cheat. Is this sign that we should all cheat until we get caught?

    January 27, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. John

    The Congressional Republicans in the House of Representatives are being urged by their leadership to oppose President Obama's plan to help the economy despite the fact that the republicans caused this mess in the first place.

    The American people should pay attention to all this republican foot dragging and vote those greedy republicans out of office in the next election.

    January 27, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Matt

    Keep complaining GOPers...it's our litmus test for knowing that he's doing a good job.

    January 27, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Susan, Macedon New York

    This is typical politician behavior – and I'm talking about both the Democrats & the Republicans. These people have such huge egos that they can't look past their reputations and simply do what's right for the country!

    Yes, maybe there is a better plan and it sounds to me like Obama is ready to listen if someone would only come up with an alternative!
    But all the Republicans want to do is be negative and the Democrats (read Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) don't want to look like they're taking orders from anyone – even if it is The President. Got news for you Harry! You do work for Obama because he's the person the people elected to do the job. So just shut the hell up and do yours!!!

    Macedon, New York

    January 27, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. RR

    If only the democrats had worked WITH the GOP in crafting the stimulus.

    Pelosi said the bill was bipartisan because the GOP could vote on it!

    If THAT is her definition of bi-partian, we're doomed.

    As long as the dems stick to the "We won. Do as we say or else!" mentality, the GOP has little recourse if they want to remain relevant.

    January 27, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. RJ

    Well isn't this special. The pot is calling the kettle black again.

    Obama needs to tell his own party to walk the talk.
    Unstuff this pig of a bill. Get the pork out NANCY!

    January 27, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Joe Flight

    Do you all think that McCain would have been the better choice, sorry but I dont want a guy who's movements are restricted by rigamortis, to lead our country. How can he lead America if he can barely move. (These are not the reasons why I picked Obama over McCain. Im just being a Smart Arse)

    January 27, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. John, Seattle WA

    This plan is the House Dems plan. Pelosi is retarded. Obama put the big pieces in there, transportation, green energy, mortgage help and they filled it full of crap. Not that the Repubs would do any better, it would be the same amount of spending, just given to other interests. These 'representatives of the people' need to start representing the people. All they are doing is confirming to the right and the center that they arent any different and cant stop helping themseves to our money, under the guise of stimulus.

    Spend money on the big things that will make a difference, the things obama is advocating, not this multitude of million dollar gifting pork junk.

    January 27, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Talks

    Not so fast, he thinks he can talk his way to heaven, or hell? All talks.

    January 27, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Obama is going to have to be "the master salesman" with his stimulus package-–of course he want be able to get anything without giving something in return--good luck Mr. President.

    January 27, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Nick

    I applaud him for wanting to take out the family planning provision. Things like this don't stimulate the economy, unless Trojan is suddenly going to provide jobs for manufacturers.

    January 27, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Grrranny

    Every time I see a Republican speaking, I see a suit, white hair, and a big flashy smile. - It is an adversarial smile. - I never see a face that tells me that this person is concerned about this country! - I only see the manic mug of someone who wants to prove you wrong! - How, then, are they a part of MY government, when their only concern is defeating the people I helped elect????? - I find this to be a very disturbing element, and one which is not going away any time soon. - I would not mind an enlightened dialogue between parties. - That would enhance our government immeasurably. - But this mindless glee at the prospect that our current government might FAIL. - THAT frightens me for our well-being, and for our safety from our own officials. - Republicans are, in fact, expressing VIOLENCE right on the floors of the House and Senate. - I have been watching, and I do not like it at all.

    January 27, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. honeychild

    The BUSH administration left this mess! Anything Pres. Obama tries is a step in the right direction.

    January 27, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Durran

    Do not allow the republican to dictate this stimulus package. We (democrates) won the election and voted for OUR ideas. Tax Cuts DOEST work. We had eight years of that with GW Bush. This plan should be spending, spending and more spending. We need a big jolt to the economy to create jobs, and stop the bleeding.

    The republicans are just being blockers. They wont agree to anything right now. They are licking there wombs, and "hating" in the process. I do understand our president wants a "big tent". but lets not give in to the STUPID republican ideals. Company's do not create jobs based on tax cuts. We've had these for eight years, and IT DIDN"T WORK. Stop appeasing the republican.

    January 27, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. ictoan

    @ walter

    We don't need Ronald Reagan. Tax cuts will not help the economy! You think it was all peachy during his administration but underneath all that Reaganomic worship is a huge national deficit! Haven't the Republicans done enoguh?! Stop borrowing from foreign countries and have American people takek responsibility for their own spending! That is true fisical responsbility.

    January 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. tino


    When you look at your bank account, and realized you are broke... What do you do?

    you save money, and think of ways to MAKE money...

    We need to drill, we need to start exporting more, we need to start SAVING more, instead of spending more...

    where is the change that obama promised.!! his first major bill is to spend MORE OF OUR MONEY...

    January 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Phil

    Forget the repubs. They will lose more seats soon.

    January 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Kemper

    Obama doing this may be good, but whats gonna happen down the road? He is doing all this stuff so fast to prove to everyone he is capable of being President, but when it's all said and done, what else is he going to do to better the country? Bow down to more muslins?

    January 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Homer

    Can I have some money?

    January 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Maurice from Ontario

    It's obvious Americans want to get out of this cauldron of financial hurt everyone is experiencing. I observe Barack Obama is truly making efforts to listen, taking strides in order to better hear the constructive ideas that might come out of GOP representatives. He has already taken steps to remove some items that might not fall into the "creating jobs immediately" column.

    But I also think the GOP representatives, rather than presenting a negative stance before the conversation, would do well in listening as well, and then in providing constructive input. Let's move forward, folks! Staying embedded in partisan ideas brings nothing but more "spinning of wheels", while thousands of people are losing their jobs and their dreams.

    January 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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