Daily Archives: November 9, 2008

Obama Says Economic Stimulus Is First Task

The Hill – Leading the News

President-elect Barack Obama said Friday that the nation is facing “the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime,” and a new economic stimulus package is a top priority.

In addition to the stimulus package, Obama said an extension of unemployment benefits tops his list for when he is sworn in — if these two items are not passed and signed by President Bush beforehand.

Speaking in his first press conference since being elected, Obama was flanked by his transition economic advisory board as Friday morning brought news that unemployment numbers had jumped and about 1.2 million jobs have been lost this year.
Obama cautioned that the country “only has one government and one president at a time,” but he said he is confident that he can restore confidence in the economy. Obama said he wants a new stimulus package “sooner rather than later,” and if Bush and Congress fail to pass one in a lame-duck session it “will be the first thing I get done as president of the United States.”

Obama said a second economic stimulus package is “long overdue,” and he will “act swiftly” to “confront this economic crisis head-on.”

With unemployment now at 6.5 percent nationwide, Obama warned that solving the economic crisis will not be a fast process, but he said a new president can do an enormous amount to restore confidence.”

Obama also stressed that the auto industry needs help to preserve manufacturing jobs, and he said that extending unemployment benefits as a top priority.

The White House has said repeatedly that the president is “open” to ideas for plans that would help stimulate the economy, but administration officials have also expressed skepticism about the various stimulus package proposals floating around Capitol Hill.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Friday morning that “we have right now to deal with the economy as it is.”

“Some of the ideas that we’ve seen, things like infrastructure spending, for example, have an exceedingly limited impact on the economy in the short term,” Fratto said.

The president-elect said he is grateful for Bush’s efforts to reach out to him, and he said he would go into his Monday meeting at the White House “with a spirit of bipartisanship.”

Obama also said that future first lady Michelle Obama will scout D.C. schools for their young daughters. And as for the puppy Obama promised his girls on election night — they are looking for a dog that is both allergy-friendly and rescued from the pound.

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Filed under Barack Obama, economic advisory team, Economic Stimulus Package, leading the news, President-Elect, The Hill, unemployment

>Obama Calls For Middle Class Rescue Plan

>The Hill – Leading the News

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday laid out his plan for dealing with the snowballing economic crisis, calling for a “rescue plan for the middle class” amid reports of the highest national unemployment rate in more than a decade.

The Illinois senator, in his party’s weekly radio address, noted that President Bush remains in office for two more months, but emphasized his intention to hit the ground running.

“First, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear,” Obama said.
“Then, we’ll address the spreading impact of the financial crisis on other sectors of our economy, and ensure that the rescue plan that passed Congress is working to stabilize financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners, and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance.”

The Labor Department on Friday released a report showing that the unemployment rate had shot up to 6.5 percent in October and that the economy shed 240,000 jobs last month.

Obama also called for renewed emphases on clean energy, healthcare, education and middle-class tax relief.

In his weekly radio address, Bush said his administration is also focused on a smooth transition and the continuing economic strife.

“Yesterday, we learned that America’s economy lost jobs in the month of October, and I will continue working hard to return our Nation to the path of prosperity and growth,” Bush said. “To help address the global financial crisis, my administration will host an historic international summit in Washington on November 15. We will also keep urging Congress to approve America’s free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, George Bush, Health Care, leading the news, Middle Class, President-Elect, Rescue Plan, tax relief, The Hill

Obama Calls For Middle Class Rescue Plan

The Hill – Leading the News

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday laid out his plan for dealing with the snowballing economic crisis, calling for a “rescue plan for the middle class” amid reports of the highest national unemployment rate in more than a decade.

The Illinois senator, in his party’s weekly radio address, noted that President Bush remains in office for two more months, but emphasized his intention to hit the ground running.

“First, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear,” Obama said.
“Then, we’ll address the spreading impact of the financial crisis on other sectors of our economy, and ensure that the rescue plan that passed Congress is working to stabilize financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners, and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance.”

The Labor Department on Friday released a report showing that the unemployment rate had shot up to 6.5 percent in October and that the economy shed 240,000 jobs last month.

Obama also called for renewed emphases on clean energy, healthcare, education and middle-class tax relief.

In his weekly radio address, Bush said his administration is also focused on a smooth transition and the continuing economic strife.

“Yesterday, we learned that America’s economy lost jobs in the month of October, and I will continue working hard to return our Nation to the path of prosperity and growth,” Bush said. “To help address the global financial crisis, my administration will host an historic international summit in Washington on November 15. We will also keep urging Congress to approve America’s free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, George Bush, Health Care, leading the news, Middle Class, President-Elect, Rescue Plan, tax relief, The Hill