President Barack Obama said Friday it appears Congress is "on target" to approve a massive new stimulus package by Feb. 16th, President's Day.
Obama met with top Democratic and Republican leaders on Friday and said the stimulus package working its way through Congress would be only one leg of an "at least three-legged stool." He said the government needed to move "swiftly and aggressively" as the economy and the financial system struggle.
Meanwhile, the U.S. auto industry supporters in Congress asked Obama to support another $25 billion in federal loansto help the industry make more fuel efficient cars.
In a letter to Obama on economic stimulus priorities, the Michigan congressional delegation also sought more than $4 billion in grants and loan guarantees for development of advanced batteries and battery systems.
The White House replied that Obama and his advisers will be better able to evaluate the needs of automakers once they submit their viability plans in mid-February.
"The president is working throughout the day, every day to ensure that a rescue plan and financial stability package are implemented quickly," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday.
"The American people understand that things are likely to get worse before they get better. But I think that they can be reasonably assured that he's working hard every day to get the economy moving again as quickly as possible," he said.
Gibbs said Obama wanted to ensure that future financial stabilization measures would include limits on executive compensation, and that Obama was pleased that his nominee to head the Treasury department, Timothy Geithner, had won the backing of the Senate Finance Committee.
Meanwhile, the House will consider next week the $825 billion stimulus package sought by President Barack Obama to help the struggling economy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, as Republicans sought to turn its emphasis to tax cuts.
Keep track of what Obama has been doing since taking office:
Day 3: House Considers Obama’s Plan (Jan. 22)
- The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday began debating $20 billion in energy tax credits and related financial incentives that are in the Obama administration's plan to revive the American economy. (Full Story)
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the house next week would consider the $825 billion economic stimulus package sought by Obama. (Full Story)
- The Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Geithner to head the U.S. Treasury, overlooking concerns about his underpayment of some $34,000 in taxes and clearing the way for a final vote on his nomination in the full Senate. (Full Story)
- Obama, who worried after winning office that he would have to part with his BlackBerry because of security concerns, will get to keep the email device after all. (Full Story)
Day 2: Back to Business (Jan. 21)
- In a day flurry of activity, Obama set up shop in the Oval Office, summoned advisers to begin dealing with war and recession and ordered new ethics rules for "a clean break from business as usual." (Full Story)
- Obama froze salaries for top White House staff members earning $100,000 or more, about 100 people in all. (Full Story)
- In his phone calls to Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders, Obama emphasized that he would work to consolidate the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. (Full Story)
- Obama imposed the New Freedom of Information Act rules, making it harder to keep the workings of government secret. (Full Story)
- Obama also imposed tighter ethics rules governing when administration officials can work on issues on which they previously lobbied governmental agencies, and banning them from lobbying the administration after leaving government service. (Full Story)
- Geithner testifies to the Senate Financial Committee and apologizes for his tax mistakes. He also comments on Obama’s economic stabilization plan. (Full Story)
Day 1: Inauguration Day (Jan. 20)
- The first African-American U.S. president swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against a backdrop of a deep economic downturn, a trillion dollar federal deficit and fears of more bank losses. (Full Story)
- Wall Street ushered in the Barack Obama presidency with a record Inauguration Day slide amid fresh signs the global bank crisis was far from over. An index of bank stocks lost almost 20 percent on fears of more losses. The Dow fell over 300 points to end below 8,000. The S&P slid more than 40 points to finish around 800 and the Nasdaq tumbled over 80 points to close around 1,450. (Full Story)