Obama Calls for Quick Action on Economy

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WASHINGTON - President-elect Obama said Friday that his administration and Congress will act quickly to solve the "greatest economic challenge of our lifetime."

Obama made his remarks in his first press-conference since being elected in a landslide victory Tuesday.

Click play to get more perspective on how the presidential transition will affect the economy from Barry C. Lynn, with the New America Foundation, following CBN News Reporter Paul Strand's report.

While he deferred to the current administration saying he would still not be president until January, he urged Congress to pass a new economic stimulus measure soon.

"I want to see a stimulus package sooner rather than later," he said when asked about the prospects of a new plan being passed before January. "If it does not get done in a lame-duck session, it will get done as soon as I'm president."

"Immediately after I become president I will confront this economic crisis head-on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help hardworking families, and restore growth and prosperity," he said

Meeting with Economic Team

Earlier this morning, President-elect Barack Obama and his economic met to find way to deal with a bleeding economy potentially facing a tough recession.

"There's a lot of problems for the country to get through and Obama has to hit the game-plan running right from the start," said David Henderson, a trader with Raven Securities.

Not only has America lost jobs every month for 10 months now, but retail sales just had their worst October since 1969. Consumers have clamped down hard on their spending.

"Consumers now are cutting back on clothes, and maybe not buying clothes at all. But what they're buying is just what they need to put on the dinner table tonight," retail consultant Burt Flickinger said.

Top priorities for Obama are picking a well-respected Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman who'll boost confidence. And he has to show he's working quickly and smoothly with the Bush administration on dealing with the economy.

"As you look at economic issues and the like, that information is already being exchanged. So as one team leaves the other team can move in," Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano said. Napolitano is part of Obama's transition team.

New Stimulus Packages

Obama will also need to work out with his fellow Democrats in Congress just what should go into the next one or two stimulus packages aimed at bringing the economy out of its rut.

'Candidate' Obama promised a big tax cut for the vast middle class that might juice up spending throughout the economy.

Some in Congress propose massive spending on public works and infrastructure repair. Others say they should extend unemployment benefits, fund more food stamps and aid ailing state governments.

"If we can do a program where the direct beneficiaries are first the financial companies, then we ought to be able to do one where the direct beneficiaries are the states that are hiring people, providing services, that are building projects," said Rep. Barney Frank, House Financial Services Committee Chairman.

"Things are beginning to move. I think the credit is beginning to flow. But I think some stimulation here focused on the people who need it the most would be a wise step," Sen. Chris Dodd said. 

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