Obama Seeks GOP Help on Recovery Bill

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill is headed to the Senate today. The measure passed the House, but without a single Republican vote.

Republicans complained the bill contained far too much wasteful spending. But the plan is expected to have more support in the Senate.

Cick play for more on President Obama's recovery bill, amid recent announcements of more job cuts.

Bill Draws Fire from GOP

With more 'yeas' than 'nays' the $825 billion stimulus bill cleared the House of Representatives.

"We are moving the ship of state in a new direction," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday.

Despite high profile meetings with the President, not one Republican jumped on board. And 11 Democrats also voted against the measure with one Republican calling it not worthy of the new President's signature.

"It is 627 pages long and that totals $1.8 billion for every single page in this bill," Rep. David Dreier said.

Where the Money's Going

Two-hundred-seventy-five dollars of the bill accounts for tax cuts and $550 billion is new spending. But critics wonder how much of that spending will actually stimulate the ailing economy.

"It's merely a wish list of long-standing liberal Democratic priorities,"

Spending includes:

     -$335 million to educate Americans about sexually transmitted diseases.

     -$150 million in repairs to the Smithsonian Institution.

     -$600 million to buy new cars for government workers.

     -A billion dollars to follow up on the 2010 census which hasn't happened yet.

"If this were a bipartisan effort, we could have had a better outcome," Rep. Paul Ryan charged.

President Holds Out Hope for Bipartisan Bill

The bill now goes to the Senate where it's expected to balloon to $888 billion or more.

After not getting the Republican support he'd hoped for in the House, the President said in a statement: "I hope that we can continue to strengthen this plan before it gets to my desk. But what we can't do is drag our feet or allow the same partisan differences to get in our way."

"Let's not stop after the third inning and tell us who won in the ninth," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Gibbs says the bill will save or create 4 million jobs and members of Congress should keep their eyes on the broader pieces of the plan. 

The Fed Gets In on the Act

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is doing its part.

Concerned about possible deflation as business conditions deteriorate, Fed officials say they'll hold a key interest rate at zero as long as necessary to boost the struggling economy.

The Fed's actions may have helped boost stocks, with the Dow up 200 points on the day.

But while partisan bickering continues in Washington, more and more Americans are lining up for unemployment benefits.

The President hopes to have a bill on his desk, ready to sign by mid-February.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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