First Draft: Obama courts Republicans on the Hill

January 27, 2009

For the second Tuesday in a row, President Barack Obama heads up to Capitol Hill. Last week it was to be inaugurated. Today it’s to woo Republican lawmakers and try to build momentum for the $825 stimulus package.

Faced with growing economic problems, as more big companies lay off workers and troubles mount in the housing and financial sectors, Obama will meet with House and Senate lawmakers to build support before debate begins on Capitol Hill on the stimulus package.

He will have separate meetings with the House Republicans and Senate Republicans in the early afternoon. The White House says the meetings are to “seek input” on the stimulus plan. The House and Senate are expected to approve the package by the middle of next month regardless of whether Republicans embrace it.

The Congressional Budget Office issued a report late on Monday saying the stimulus package falls billions of dollars short of Obama’s goal to pump most of the money into the ecoUSA-GEITHNER/OBAMAnomy quickly.

Timothy Geithner, who was approved by the Senate as Treasury Secretary, was sworn in on Monday night and he vowed quick action to help fix the economy.

On the morning talk shows: A California woman will now have to feed and dress one extra baby. She shocked doctors — who had expected her to have seven babies — by giving birth to octuplets.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

– Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Geithner’s wife Carole watches as he is sworn in as Treasury Secretary)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

I am amazed that Timothy Geithner was selected Treasury Secretary.Although the man has a lot of experience, what troubles me is the fact that although a lot of self employed entrepreneurs have to pay their quarterly taxes, this man, who used to be past president of the Federal Reserve Bank, chose ignore paying taxes.I wonder if he would have paid the taxes if he would not have been nominated for the post.
That shows an undermining character in my book.I do not trust someone who is not honest and even tough he got caught and paid his taxes, he did so before he was sworn in.Not cool.
i would not have voted for a dishonest man.
Besides that, he is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, an agency that believes in the one world government.

Posted by belindabell | Report as abusive

I find it even more alarming that Geithner has been hand in hand with Bernanke and Paulson while the first $350 billion dribbled away with no apparent benefit to the credit market or overall economy. The only evidence that any improvementhas taken placeis “anecdotal” according to some congressman. Another congressman stated that they “assumed” Geithner had a wealth of knowledgeuseful for dealing with the economy. It doesn’t shape up to be any better than Bush’s attempt, and gets even bleaker when you consider that Mary Shapiro will be in charge of the SEC when she has been in a position for years to do something about the malfeasances of the investment community already.

Posted by frank | Report as abusive

I wonder if we can use the excuse that we didn’t know how to use Turbo Tax if we don’t pay our taxes for, oh…something like 4 years…now that Geithner’s dutings include heading the IRS?

Just that fact alone, disturbs me greatly. No tax holiday for us. It would be off to jail we go.

This will come back to bite Obama…

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

“Chose to ignore paying taxes”? No, he used a standard computer program for doing his taxes that didn’t have all it needed to have in it. It was an oversight, and no, the IRS would rather have its money than put people in jail. Sheesh, some people will believe anything after becoming a Dittohead. Schapiro’s ability to do anything about the Wall Street malfeasance during the Dubya years was limited by what Dubya would let her do. It was his administration, after all.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

So Jimbo, you are saying you know everything there is about Geithner’s tax holiday? You are so naive.

It was not an oversight. Also, he should have paid for the four years and not only two. We wouldn’t get away with not paying for the full four years.

Why would you make excuses for someone who clearly did not pay his taxes and even if he did it by accident, why didn’t he do the right thing and pay all of his back taxes?

Unbelievable how the only thing apologists like you do is start your venom on Bush. Well, this has nothing to do with Bush, this is about Obama’s choice to head the Treasury (which includes the IRS). He didn’t pay his taxes and still hasn’t.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive