Obama's Stimulus Plan Will Take Weeks Of Work
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
President-elect Barack Obama is about to meet with lawmakers to push for his economic stimulus plan. But top Democrats warn it will not be ready for his signature in time for his inauguration on January 20. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.
ALLISON KEYES: Mr. Obama has said his plan will create three million new jobs, mostly in the private sector. Some will involve rebuilding the nation's crumbling roads, bridges, and schools. The president-elect says the proposal provides tax relief to 95 percent of American workers and doubles production of renewable energy. This weekend the president-elect used his audio-video address to urge Congress to take quick action on the plan, which is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $775 billion.
President-elect BARACK OBAMA: Economists from across the political spectrum agree that if we don't act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment and the American dream slipping further and further out of reach.
KEYES: But the second-ranked Democrat of the House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, is warning that even if lawmakers move as quickly as possible, it may take weeks to get the plan ready to be signed into law. The Maryland Democrat told "Fox News Sunday" it is unlikely his party will push for a vote next week.
(Soundbite of "Fox News Sunday")
Representative STENY HOYER (Democrat, Maryland): It's probably going to slip because this has been a complicated effort, a cooperative effort between the Congress and the incoming administration. And again we want to do this right. We want to have people know what we're doing.
KEYES: Republicans like House Minority Leader John Boehner have pushed for just that, calling for public hearings and more time to review the proposal. Hoyer says he hopes to see the package pass the house by the end of this month, get to the Senate, and then to the president's desk before Congress breaks in early February. Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.