Obama's Economic Stimulus Package

January 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
As jobs continue to be lost and home prices plunge, the president's top priority is getting another economic stimulus plan, underway. But the package is already struggling to get through congress.President Obama is still salesman-in-chief, trying to move his economic stimulus plan forward in congress.

"We have to do everything in power - congress too- to get money moving - to create jobs, put people back to work," said White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs.

The economic picture the new president inherits is grim.

Last week, 589-thousand workers filed for unemployment benefits for the first time. That's the most in 27 years. And more Americans are expected to lose their jobs.

"We are at a peak right now of job losses and that's going to continue for a few months going forward? We're looking at a minimum of another 3 million job losses," said Co-CEO of Pimco Mohamed El-Erian.

In the housing market which touched off the global financial crisis, more bad news: final figures for 2008 show new home construction plunged 33 percent from 2007, the worst year for home building in half a century. House leaders from both parties agree Americans are desperate for a solution .

"They expect and demand action to relieve the economic crisis that they're experience in their own families. I don't think we're going too fast," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D).

But many investors are still skeptical about the president's stimulus plan, as are some republicans.

"We still think that there's time to influence the -- the final product here," said Rep. John Boehner (R), House Minority Leader.

In a sign that the economy is a top priority, President Obama has added an economic briefing, to the national security assessment he receives every day.

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