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White House Presses for Economic Recovery Plan


U.S. President Barack Obama is aggressively campaigning for his multi-billion-dollar economic recovery plan. The president wants the package to clear Congress by mid-February.

On Sunday, President Obama dispatched his vice president and one of his top economic advisors to promote the plan in interviews on American television.

Appearing on the CBS program Face the Nation, Vice-President Joe Biden cautioned the nation's economic crisis is deepening, and there is no time to waste.

"It is getting worse every day," he said. "There has been no good news."

On NBC's Meet the Press, White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers stressed the nation's economy is in the worst shape since World War II. He said in order to meet the economic challenge, the president is trying to strike a balance between new government spending and tax cuts.

"The president has taken a balanced approach. He has indicated he is open to ideas from anywhere," said Summers. "No doubt the precise composition of the package will change as it works through Congress. And the president is very open to the best ideas of all kinds."

Increased spending is favored by the Democratic Party majority in Congress, while the Republican minority wants more of an emphasis on tax cuts.

The top Republican in the House of Representatives, Congressman John Boehner of Ohio, says the plan currently circulating on Capitol Hill is loaded with waste, and will not do enough to help average Americans. He predicts most Republicans will vote no.

He also appeared on Meet the Press.

"Right now, given the concerns that we have over the size of this package and all of the spending in this package, we don't think it is going to work," said Boehner.

President Obama met with Congressional leaders from both major political parties on Friday to discuss the economy. And he is expected to go to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to court Republican leaders.

The package currently making its way through Congress is expected to top $820 billion by the time it reaches the president's desk. The White House says the goal is to create four million new jobs - jump-starting an economy that lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008.

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