First Draft: Obama courts Republicans on the Hill
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 economy 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.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Geithner’s wife Carole watches as he is sworn in as Treasury Secretary)