GOP Support Expected after Obama Meetings

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WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he expects GOP leaders to rally behind President Obama's plan for the economy after their meetings with him, Tuesday.

Obama talked with Republican House and Senate leaders on their turf, in hopes of building confidence in his $825 billion plan for the economy.

The President's mission was twofold-- to listen to GOP demands on his stimulus bill and to emphasize the need to act quickly.  Keeping his vow to work across the aisle, Obama urged lawmakers to not let party ties delay the bill's passage.

"The statistics every day underscore the urgency of the economic situation, and the American people expect action," he said in between the private meetings. "I don't expect 100 percent agreement from my Republican colleagues, but I do hope we can put politics aside."

Obama: No Time to Waste

The President has been driviing his plan full force since several companies announced thousands of layoffs, Monday.

"As with the million's of jobs lost in 2008, these are working men and women whose families have been disrupted and whose dreams have been put on hold," Obama said. "We owe it to each of them and to every single American to act with a sense of urgency and a common purpose." 

New forecasts show unemployment could reach 10 percent or higher this year, with retail sales expected to fall a record half a percent - the first decline in three decades or more.

Obama's plan is widely expected to pass.

The goal is to jumpstart the economy with increased government spending on everything from unemployment aid to construction projects.

But with a price tag over $800 billion and counting, Obama wants bipartisan support.

GOP Raises Objections

So far, Republicans aren't budging. They want more money to go toward tax cuts for businesses and less money on what they call wasteful government spending.

Still, one battle has already been won: getting Democrats to drop $200 million for family planning - something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended on ABC's "This Week."

"The family planning services reduce cost," Pelosi said. "The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs."

Treasury Takes Steps to Stabilize Markets

With the President's choice to lead the country's recovery effort, now in place, the Treasury Department announced new rules to help stabilize the markets and get banks to resume lending.

"We are at a moment of maximum challenge for our economy and our country: our agenda is to move quickly to help you do what the country asked you to do," said newly confirmed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

But the pressure isn't just on Obama.

With the highest initial job approval ratings since Eisenhower, some Republicans worry about appearing too partisan during an economic crisis.

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