Obama Plugs Stimulus Plan on Capitol Hill

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 5, 2009 6:31 PM CST
President-elect Barack Obama meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.    (Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama plunged into rare pre-inaugural crisis talks with congressional leaders today, declaring the national economy was "bad and getting worse" and embracing tax cuts expected to reach $300 billion, the AP reports. He predicted lawmakers would approve a mammoth revitalization package within 2 weeks of his taking office. "The economy is very sick," said Obama.

"The reason we are here today is because the people's business cannot wait," Obama said as he arrived on Capitol Hill. "I expect to be able to sign a bill shortly after taking office," he said. Pressed on the timing, he said, "By the end of January or the first of February." Obama's stimulus plan includes tax cuts of up to $300 billion as well as more than $100 billion for businesses, an Obama transition official said.