Senate Passes Obama's Economic Stimulus Program

February 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
President Obama was on the road Tuesday, drumming up support. As the senate approved the $838-billion dollar stimulus bill with only three republican votes, President Obama stumped to drum up support for legislation that still isn't a done deal. The differences between the house and senate versions still need to be resolved.

Obama held a second town hall meeting in as many days. Tuesday's in Ft. Myers, Florida, which has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country and, like the rest of the country, could sink deeper into recession if action is not taken.

"More people will lose their homes and their health care, and our nation will sink into a crisis that at some point is going to be that much tougher to reverse. So we cannot afford to wait," said President Obama.

The president criticized one of the main republican arguments against the stimulus bill: that it has too much spending and not enough tax cuts. "They say we can't afford to take on these tasks. But Florida, you know we can't afford not to."

But most republican lawmakers aren't budging and say the bill is too expensive.

"This is about a billion dollars a page. And I don't believe we have consensus on how to spend it," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) Texas.

Many republicans outside Washington support the stimulus package. Charlie Crist, Florida's republican governor, joined Obama at Tuesday's town hall.

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