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news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Failing to Act Could Lead to a Catastrophe

Posted by lawman2 on February 10, 2009

Did you watch Obama on T.V. primetime tonight?


The news conference was the centerpiece of an intense and highly orchestrated campaign by the administration to wrest control of the stimulus debate from Republicans and reframe it on Mr. Obama’s terms.

 Obama claimed “only government” can shake the country out of recession, as he tried to settle doubts about his administration’s costly economic recovery package during a prime-time press conference. 

Warning that a failure to act ‘’could turn a crisis into a catastrophe,” Mr. Obama used his presidential platform — a prime-time news conference, the first of his presidency, in the grand setting of the White House East Room — to address head on the concerns about his approach, which has by and large failed to win the Republican support he sought.

Mr. Obama began Monday’s news conference by laying out the stark economic facts facing the country, beginning with the 598,000 jobs lost last month alone — a figure, Mr. Obama said, that is ‘’nearly the equivalent of losing every job in the state of Maine.”

At several points, Mr. Obama made clear that more action would be needed in the future — starting with the next steps to bail out ailing financial institutions, and with unknown measures yet to come.

He said he was not willing to take advice from “the folks who presided over a doubling of the national debt.”

Asked if he had abandoned his promises of seeking a bipartisan approach to the nation’s problems, Mr. Obama said he had met repeatedly with Republicans on Capitol Hill, but added, “It’s going to take time to break down those bad habits” of reflexive partisanship.

on Tuesday, Obama plans to visit Fort Myers, Fla., an area hit hard by home foreclosures. 

There he will be introduced by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, one of the handful of Republican governors the Obama administration has turned to in seeking bipartisan support for the package. 

The town hall event Monday was a throwback to the presidential campaign, as Obama fielded questions from the audience in what was once a hotly contested battleground state. 

But the stimulus debate has presented a new battle for Obama. He’s trying to dampen criticism of the bill, which some still complain is loaded with special-interest projects and is too costly. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the bill could have been just as effective at half the cost. A new budget office report put the bill’s price tag at $838 billion, up from $827 billion earlier in the day. 

Every Republican in the House opposed the first version of the measure two weeks ago, and just three Republican senators voted with Democrats to cut off debate and advance the bill Monday. 

The measure as it stands is a blend of spending, tax cuts and incentives that the administration and Democrats in Congress hope will jolt the economy out of recession and create millions of jobs. 

If the bill clears the Senate, the Obama administration will next have to oversee what could be a tense negotiation between House and Senate leaders as they try to reconcile the differences between their two bills. The House version is $819 billion. 

The Obama administration pointed to a new Gallup poll Monday in arguing that the public is still on their side. 

The poll found Obama had a 67 percent approval rating for the way he was handling the stimulus. 

But the same was not true for those in Congress. Democrats had a 48 percent approval rating and Republicans had just a 31 percent approval rating for the way they were handling the process. 

Sources : Primetime t.v. , latimes, NYtimes, Foxnews.


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