WASHINGTON - The Bush White House is working with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team to request the second half of the bailout money. The plan is to move quickly so the money would be available shortly after Obama takes office.
The Senate is already preparing to vote on the request to free up the remaining $350 billion of the bailout fund. The vote could come later this week.
Over the weekend, the President-elect tried to convince lawmakers to move quickly and to drum up support on a separate $800-billion stimulus plan.
"You know, whether it's retail sales, manufacturing, all of the indicators show that we are in the worst recession since the Great Depression," Obama said. "And it's going to take some time to fix it."
The goal is for the money to be available within days of Obama's swearing in. But the push to rush is meeting some resistance - and not just from Republicans.
"They can't use this money in a way that simply not effective and does not ensure that there is more credit available," Sen. Kent Conrad said.
Obama: Money to Go to Struggling Homeowners
Obama and top Democrats say the money will be better spent and managed than the first round of the bailout money and that more of the funds will go directly to relieve struggling homeowners.
After last week's unemployment report, Obama wants to work with Congress to bring his economic plan to a vote as soon as possible.
Obama told ABC's This Week, "The sooner a recovery and reinvestment package is in place, the sooner we can start turning the economy around. We can't afford three, four, five, six more months where we're losing half a million jobs per month."