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Americans Welcome Obama Speech

Polls indicate most Americans welcome U.S. President Barack Obama's speech on the economy. In his Tuesday address to Congress, he said the United States will recover from recession and "emerge stronger than before."

Public opinion surveys taken right after the speech by CNN and CBS show Mr. Obama's plans won overwhelming approval from viewers.

Most said the president's plans will make the economy better. But one survey by CBS, found only a bit more than half thought Mr. Obama will be able to accomplish all of his goals.

New economic data Wednesday show why some Americans remain concerned about the economy, as home sales and home prices fell while layoffs soared.

Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden vowed close oversight of the massive economic stimulus plan.

In the speech, Mr. Obama said years of irresponsibility, indecision and short-term thinking brought a "day of reckoning" for the world's biggest economy.

The president called he recovery plan he signed last week a first step toward recovery. But he emphasized the need for further action on heath care, energy and education.

In the Republican response to the speech, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said his party is ready to work with the president but stressed that legislation proposed by Democrats with a goal of growing the economy will only serve to grow the government.

In his address, Mr. Obama urged Congress to pass laws to regulate the U.S. financial system more effectively. He also called for action on carbon pollution and more work on alternative energy.

Mr. Obama said his administration will "soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war." He emphasized the importance of diplomacy and reaffirmed his determination to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center.