Related News

Home » World

Democrats agree to stimulus cuts as Obama calls for action

WITH a successful US Senate vote on his economic stimulus bill in sight, President Barack Obama warned yesterday that quick action was needed to avoid economic catastrophe and blamed Republican policies for pushing the country into crisis.

Senate Democrats agreed late on Friday to trim spending proposals and support tax cuts in an US$800 billion bill that was to go to a vote on Tuesday. They rolled back their earlier US$937 billion proposal to cull what critics, mostly Republicans, called billions of dollars in unwarranted spending.

Obama praised the group of moderate senators from both political parties for coming up with the deal.

"Democrats and Republicans came together in the Senate and responded appropriately to the urgency this moment demands," he said in his weekly radio address.

"In the midst of our greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people were hoping that Congress would begin to confront the great challenges we face. That was, after all, what last November's election was all about."

The president's emphasis on the 2008 election, which he won over Republican rival John McCain, continued a more aggressive posture of recent days in which he has sought to hit back at naysayers and wield the political capital that his robust victory on November 4 handed him.

Obama poured scorn on Republican critics who said the bill lacked enough tax cutting measures and pointed his finger squarely at the polices of predecessor George W. Bush, for dragging the country into recession. The stimulus plan is expected to garner support from only a handful of the Senate's minority Republicans.

"We can't expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led us into this mess in the first place," he said.

"We can't rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges."

Obama said the legislation deserved scrutiny but said speed trumped perfection. He wanted the final stimulus package worked out with the House of Representatives and on his desk by February 16.

"The scale and scope of this plan is right, and the time for action is now," he said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend