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. Aud

    All of these people that criticize President Obama, I have a question for you. Since you know so much, and you are so adept at Politics, why didn't you run for office ? You sit back and complain, complain, complain and that's as far as you can go. Why don't you put feet to your complaints and get up and do something about it. Run for office, I dare you, and see if you can do any better.

    January 27, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. jim

    Call it what it is its a new welfare bill.
    It will not work
    it will not work.

    Bush was wrong because he was to far LEFT the solution is not to go Far Left into Obama's socialism.

    The solution is to cut taxes and live by the Constitution. All men are to be treated equally, the current tax rates are not equal because some pay nothing and some pay higher rates. Under the Constitution everyone must pay the same Tax rate.

    January 27, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Wanderer

    I tend toward the Democrat side of politics. Unfortunately the Democrats are loading this bill up with their pet projects with little regard to whether these projects will create jobs – which is what this bill is supposed to accomplish.

    It seems the Dems, now with substantial majorities, are getting a "payback" at the Republicans for all of their largess when they were the majority. This just has to stop. Obama is doing the right thing in telling his party to cut out some provisions that have little to do with job creation. He needs to "spank" the Dems even more, but even a little is a good sign.

    January 27, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Mary

    I applaud President Obama for keeping the stimulus plan realistic, and scolding both sides when it gets out of hand. However, no matter what he does, the repubs will keep asking for more, he should do what he thinks is right for us and make the plan the best it can be, regardless of what boehner or pelosi say.

    January 27, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Seth

    President Obama's recent comments about Rush Limbaugh is one of the smartest thing, by doing so he makes Limbaugh the new face of the republican party, knowing that rush is a controv ersal figure in the non/semi-conservatives
    Obama's outreach to congress is a win, win for him as if republicans accept the stimulus package he wins, if they reject it, htey end up looking like obstructionists and are thus weakened and Obama wins again.
    He's like a cat playing with a mouse before meal time.

    January 27, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    Blue State, NC, has said it properly.

    Here are some things for conservatives and liberals to remember: Compromise is not flip-flopping – it is called getting the job done. Obama knows how to do that.

    Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Far right and far left idealogues need to get out of the way.

    January 27, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. j

    This is so much money that's being spent and they rushed through the first package without adequate protections that I don't mind a little foot dragging by the fiscal conservatives. I'm really concerned that the Dems are going to load this up with a lot of pork instead of real measures that might do some good. I do trust Congress to do the right thing. Some of them seem fine individually but as a group, they might as well be guppies.

    January 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Tracey

    To Blue State,

    I totally agree, you have a way with words. unlike some of these people who are so filled with hate because their party lost. Get over it guys!!! Its time to move on and get to work, doing for the American People not just a select few. Let's give our President a chance!!!!! I have faith he will do the right thing.......

    January 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Michael Houston, Texas

    Some of you keep me laughing reading your crazy comments! Anyway, I see both sides of the arguement. On one hand, the argulement of keep Government out of this. Well, we get into messes like this when you let the inmates run the asylum. It is the private sector, that cooked the books, lied, overstated etc, so now why have a financial system of dishonesty and distrust. Now flipping the coin, some of the programs like Social Security, Medicare etc are good programs to have IF they change the rules. But most of the programs need to be eliminated. I, and let me shock most of you, a liberal leaning Independent hate welfare. I hate the fact that I get every morning and bust my butt while some girl with 5 kids get's to sit at home and live off my money, or so Joe smuck acts like he is looking for job while sitting there collecting unemployment that my tax dollors pay for. So in my opinion President Obama is on the right track but the GOP has to keep him in check on what he palns on doing with the money and make sure that they (the GOP) get rid of all those useless programs that are attached to this bill i.e. the 200 million condom idea. I think that a portion of that money should be diverted to people like myself as a tax break. I don't think checks should be issued liek GWB did in 2001 and 2008. giving a bunch of irresponsible people money is never a good idea, and face it folks, yes the majority of Americans are irresponsible, that is a huge part of why we are in this mess because people have not learned to spend the money they have versus the money they borrowed i.e credit cards and such.

    January 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Happy Camper

    We said "NO!". NO MORE TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR BANKERS. What part of NO don't they get?

    January 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. dljonly

    All this proves is that it in NOT the President who can get things done. Look to your Congress and tell them to get real – we've all had to do it.

    January 27, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Matt

    @ southerncousin

    Global warming causes more violent and drastic weather changes...it doesn't literally mean that you're going to be running around in 80 degree sunshine all the time. Have another mint julip.

    January 27, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. John Galt in Colorado

    WHO IS JOHN GALT? too late to answer the question now.......

    January 27, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. ran

    For only $200million each us citizen over 21yoa could receive $1 million. Think about how that would stimulate the economy. Why do we need the $Billions?

    January 27, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. RGB in MN

    ACORN in a stimulus package?
    This is change?
    Treasury Sec with unpaid taxes for 4 years?
    Attorney General who pardons felons?
    Chief of Staff with Blago stain on him?
    Speaker of the House who wants to minimize costs by simply not letting the poor have children? (Later to be on the dole)

    Amazing. A lot of potholes ahead. for PEBO

    January 27, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. realist

    Thank god somebody is finally looking at the pork that these
    politicians use to get reelected.Stimulas is not a free for all with
    my money. I am still wondering about condoms.

    Yeah stimulas and condoms go together but not with my buck.

    January 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. gara

    Hi chaps-

    I wonder aloud, along with many others, about the theory of " tax cuts leading to riches" according to "Laffer" curve, as observed by many eminent economists.

    The point is that the GOP party's constant partisan argument on "cut taxes" policy has not held water in the past 8 years. A mishmash of Dems' and GOP's points of arguments can be, in my opinion, a more pragmatic approach in generating an answer to the $825 billion question. Hey Chums! There still is a wide yawning gap between the "haves" and "have nots", even in the USA, mind you.

    January 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Hope for America

    President Obama is trying to do whatever he can to help the American people. However when you read all the anti-Obama comments on this site it displays the worst of America. People are suffering from losing jobs and struggling just to live day-to-day. Yet people who are still BITTER about the election only care about one thing:


    These folks don't get it. He fails and America will fail. But when you look at politics like it's a sports game, I guess it doesn't matter anyway because to those folks, it was always a game to begin with.

    January 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Kevin

    I though that BHO made a committment to policies that were based on evidence and facts, as opposed to politics and ideology.

    Where's the evidence that a $1tr stimulus package will work? It's already failed once when FDR tried it. This is policy based on ideology, SOCIALIST ideology. There's no facts or evidence to back this up. So he's already lied to us once, I'd expect a lot more where that cam from.

    And what was so great about what Bluestate NC said? There's no working together here, there's nothing in this package for conservatives. This is just more big gov't. BHO talked about building a bi-partisan coalition, but based on this stimulus package, what he meant was that, he will force his SOCIALIST agenda on both sides of the aisle.

    It's BHO that needs to start working with Republicans by at least offering something aside from failed these 1930's era big government tactics.

    January 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. California Gold

    The morning paper had a brief article–the entire country of Iceland is bankrupt. The entire country. This global economy is frightening. We better get this country's economic wheels turning. I'm glad we have a President who is eager to get things moving and a receptive Congress. Either be part of the solution or get out of the way.

    January 27, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Dont blame me

    This stimulus package, if anybody has taken the time to look into it, is a FIASCO, with all of the PORK and then items that money is slated to go to that will stimulate ABSOLUTLY NOTHING !!!!!!!!

    Come on people, read some of what is in this stimulus package before you comment.

    When you look at it, this is a stimulus package in NAME ONLY, in reality, it is nothing more than a deomocratic SPENDING package that will NOT jump start anything !!!

    PLEASE people, read what is in it, and there is a GOOD chance that you will change your mind and vote AGAINST it.

    January 27, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Scott L

    haha Obama is already failing! 🙂

    January 27, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Ken in Dallas

    walter January 27th, 2009 12:02 pm ET

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


    Safely dead. Reagan was nothing more than a well-trained cheerleader, the ideal figurehead. Reagan was one of the original soldiers of the culture war, who campaigned against everything constructive done through government. He was the most polarizing president we had in my lifetime, until George W. Bush.

    Reagan's in the ground, right where we need him now.

    January 27, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Deborah

    Like any good Sales Executive, he needs to sell his plan....

    The problem is the plan isn't going to work the way he keeps saying it will.

    We feel for the BS once, not again!

    We can't afford to pay back all the folks that got BO elected!

    We need a stimulus plan that is actually going to work....

    Creating Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

    January 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Larry from RI

    Good move Mr. Obama!
    Remove this from the stimulus package as it is out of sync with the intent of the stimulus.

    Also, with this appropriation removed from the package, the boner and the GOP minions will have little left to complain about – lest they want display their true obstructionist intent to all of America.

    GOP – Lead, Follow or get out of the way, America hasn't the time or patience for your childish ways any longer..

    January 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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