Obama Unveils Plan to Kick-Start Economy
Today, President-elect Obama is moving forward with what he has billed as his top priority: an economic stimulus package called the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan." He is scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and possibly the Republican leaders in both chambers. In his weekend radio address, Obama said that his goal is to put together a plan that "not only creates jobs in the short-term but spurs economic growth and competitiveness in the long-term." The package will focus on providing assistance to low- and middle-income Americans, strengthening the nation's infrastructure, and investing in states that are struggling with falling revenues, with the goal of creating or preserving at least 3 million jobs over the next two years. Underscoring the urgency of addressing the nation's faltering economy, Pelosi has said that her goal is to pass a bill that is ready to be signed by Obama once he takes office on Jan. 20. However, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has cast doubt on such an expedited timeline, and many conservatives are already indicating that they plan to block this progress. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs conceded that the stimulus package is "unlikely" to be ready by the inauguration.