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. Eli, Indianapolis

    I've got a great idea.... Let's pay off all this debt that the country is in by borrowing more money to pay off the old debt.

    How in the world does that make sense?

    The thing is, we are in this mess not becuase of one party of another but because of greed. This greed is a result of our "Me first, I get what I want no matter what society" and that includes top government officials, business men, and all the way down to the common man.

    If a child made a mistake we would be foreced to discipline them so that they would learn from their mistakes. Not because we don't love them or don't care, but we have to learn our lessons.

    Our country has made a mistake, GREED, and now unfortunately we have to face the consequences and learn from our mistakes. If we just give people money, they aren't going to learn from their mistakes.

    Our country has gone through many poor economies before and we have always survived. How? Because of the working man. Not the government bailing them out.

    If we continue these bailouts no one is ever going to learn their lesson.

    Tough Love is what we need!

    God Bless America

    January 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Minnesotan

    So that's what a real president looks like! We haven't seen a competent, working president in almost a decade!

    January 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Gra Muh Cree

    What's the hold up? Get them windmills turnin!

    January 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. byrd

    Obama, with just a week in office, is trying to and upholding his pledge to work with the republicans as much as possible. If the republicans try to take advantage of his graciousness, it will be at their own peril. Obama will then bury you low life trash republicans and you will receive your due for putting this country in such a mess. The republicans are rather stupid, but I hope not stupid enough to go against the will of the American people.

    January 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. 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 fell 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 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Axel000

    I must laugh at the criticism coming from the GOP side in here. Your team ran this country into the ground with its out of date ideas, be glad Obama isn't telling you to sit in a corner and shut the F up.

    January 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. SOS in = SOS out

    yep -pork is still pork reagrdless if it's elephant or donkey pork

    wodner why his approval ratings are down over 22% since the day before the election

    here we go – the bush haters will now do their hollow comparison

    when will the citizens of all races, colors and creeds FINALLY GET ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP and do something about it. The DC dogs don't give a rip about you or your condoms, or your starving kids, or your education. why do we keep electing the SOS into congress and continue to be insane enough to think that the SOS won't come out?

    even if obama, bush, clinton, reagan, lincoln, etc were perfect they have very, very little absolute power over congress (except to get them re-elected). it's kinda the other way around people – just ask pelosi or reid

    this is not an anti-govt rant it';s 'wrong' govt rant – and we have absoluteky no one else but ourselves to blaim

    January 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. LCP

    The democrats were actually being considerate in buying condoms when they are getting ready to screw us all.

    January 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. perceptions

    Is this a stimulus plan or an IOU to a the thousand of Dem special interest groups?

    $200 billion just for States to balance their budgets? Not ONE new job will be created here.

    Well the Dems own the economy. They took it over two years ago and immediately ignored it so they could, in 2007, vote weekly and monthly on US troop withdraws from Iraq. Does everyone still remember this wasted time?

    January 27, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Ex-Republican

    southerncousin January 27th, 2009 12:10 pm ET
    ----------------
    You probably prefer the republican way of continuing to spend the money in Iraq right? Spend our money and kill our young men and women while doing it?

    Hey, I'll take the democratic way, spending it on people HERE to help them LIVE rather then the republican way of spending it to kill our children in foreign lands.

    January 27, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. We Need God's Help

    It is so sad that Obama turns out to be nothing better than Bush. His new House Economic Recovery Bill is planning to give $820 billion to the federal and state governments so that they can waste more $$. Outrageous!! He is not keeping his promises to benefit the priviate citizens, and he is going right back to sponsoring corporate executives with more tax rebates for them. Only God can help us now...

    January 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Mark

    Even democrats know that dumping more tax dollars into hwys will not do anything.

    January 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Angie in Pa

    Well at least he is trying to work with both Parties since when have we even seen A President do that? Obama is for all people REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A RED AMERICA OR A BLUE AMERICA THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! regardless of what party your for if America fails and goes down WE ALL FAIL AND GO DOWN! UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FAIL!! Get a clue people!

    January 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Agnes Fleming

    I am not sure any stimulous package will succeed in providing nothing more than a bandaid to an economy that is sliding off of the charts, however, to add pork, i.e., birth control for poor people, is stupid on the part of the democrats and stupid on the part of the republicans for holding out for their pork. Time to get the show on the road here and figure out who is going to paying for all these bailout and stimulous packages.

    January 27, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. listen to the taxpayers

    Give the money to the taxpayers. More and more people are saying this same thing. Why won't they listen? We have to pay it back anyway. $500 will not stimulate the economy. Give the taxpayers enough to pay off some debt, mortgage, car loan, whatever. The money will be immediately sent to the banks who could use it for investments or buying an airplane. The taxpayers are the ones who need the money NOW! It would stop all the foreclosures on the mortgages, people could actually live in their house.

    January 27, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. geecee

    Of course the Repugs won't support Barack. They want him to fail just as much as Limpig does and they call themselves Americans and Patriots??

    January 27, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Veteran in Kansas

    It really is going to be a pretty simple call, if Obama's plan is put into play and does not work, it's Obama's failure. If the Democrates and Repulicans play games and refuse to follow his lead and insert pork spending and delete programs, decrease or for that part increase taxes, and it fails, well then our Congress is at fault for not following Obama's lead to recovery.

    It's almost a win win situation for Obama at this time.

    January 27, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Outspoken

    The one and only purpose of stimulus spending is to make politicians look good for re-election. In the long run, they just put us deeper in the hole. But, hey, we're Americans. We have to have it ALL and, by God, we have to have it RIGHT NOW!! Forget the future generations that will have to pay the price. (We need a BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT.)

    January 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Oliver

    Barack, do you think compromise on some smaller issues will put you in a better negotiating position on the bigger issues later on with Repbulicans? I hope not Barack, because it won't work. You need to be stronger, you need to stand for our Democratic principles against a Republican force that knows no compromise, and will continue to damage our country. Please, loose the naivte, and get with the program, you are President of the United States, and l hope, as strong and forceful as Bush. Use your power to put things right, not compromise what this country needs by trying to hold hands and sing kumbaya with the Republican leadership. They are in the minority now, so prove it to them.

    January 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Nola

    I guess all you haters and Republicans would like everyday to be like yesterday – 71,000 individuals receiving notice that they will be losing their jobs. I guess all you haters and Republicans would like to see this country erupt – individuals fighting for food, and other supplies. While I might not like creating debt -their comes a time when you have no other way to deal with the problem. The people in this country need jobs, jobs create revenue, people with money will spend it on items that they need, and this will put this country back on a solid financial track. I agree with Blue State NC – the time has arrive for each of us to stop the pettiness and start working together. President Obama is at least doing something – I only hear mouth service from all you haters and Republicans. If you have a better plan of action that would put more than 2million people back to work, stop all the homes from being foreclosed, and would put this country back on track then I highly suggest that you stand up and present the plan.

    January 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    YES HE CAN!

    January 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Chipster

    souythern cousin: this is an example of exactly how short-sighted people are about global warming. Yes, it's winter and colder than usual in southern states. I don't suppose you would recognize for one minute that the unusual cold you are feeling is due in part to global warming. The polar ice cap is melting and waters are getting colder farther south as a result. It mixes with the warmer waters and the extreme differences fuel the storms that are increasing in strength. Duh! You don't have a clue, do you? Sorry to disturb you, just put your head back into the sand.

    January 27, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. nc is still red

    You poor blind souls. You all really believe all the fodder that Obama puts out. Transparency? How about having a press Secretary actually answer some questions on real issues. Bipartisianship? The biggest problem with the stimulous, (other than the fact that it's useless and another form of a redistribution of wealth), is that the Dem's in the house a bull rushing through it and are not working with the Republican's to compromise. That's why the Rep's are blocking it.

    January 27, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Jim

    Wow. There are some interesting comments on here.

    Ray Ray-
    Obama is a muslim-loving idiot?
    Why? Because he wants to create peace? Because he wants to accept other people and not express some narrow, biggotted point of view?

    Stag –
    He wants the condom trailer removed, not added.

    Danny-
    Not by a longshot. Bush still looks like he did before. Only you look dumber...

    January 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Just Disillusioned. Atlanta

    Ah BLUE STATE NC. For once a rare sane mind! Very well said indeed!

    I stopped reading commentaries as most emanate from befuddled, uncouth, uneducated and hate spewing cretins.

    Mr. President, don't compromise the people's faith in you. This country can be likened to a drowning person grabbing at straws. You are that straw Mr. President. Do right for the majority who bear the brunt of the current economic downturn.

    And here is a thought for you Mr. President. How about a new political organization founded on the ideal that government is best practiced if it is operated from the ground up as was done with your political campaign? Let's restore the source of governmental power to its rightful place.

    January 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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