Wednesday, January 28, 2009.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on an $825 billion stimulus bill that could save millions of jobs and prevent foreclosures, but which might also make the recession worse if the government's growing debt sends interest rates up and the dollar plummeting.
President Obama urged fast passage of the bill, saying new statistics being released every day "underscore the urgency of the economic situation."
"The American people expect ... us to put together a recovery package that puts people back to work (and) creates investments that assure our long-term energy independence, an effective health care system (and) an education system that works," Obama said.
House Republican Leader Rep. John Boehner called the stimulus plan "wasteful and unfocused" and said it would be "irresponsible to pass this massive debt onto our children and grandchildren." Boehner and other Republicans are pushing for an approach that puts more emphasis on tax relief and less on government spending to stimulate the economy.
H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, would earmark money for a range of federal programs and increase or extend benefits payable under Medicaid, unemployment and food-stamp programs. The bill also includes an estimated $165 billion in tax cuts for individuals and $110 billion for businesses.