Obama Stimulus Plan Exposes Party Rifts

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WASHINGTON - A new report this morning confirms America's economic crisis could deepen before it gets better.

At a news conference Friday announcing more administration appointments, President-elect Barack Obama said the country is facing "devastating economic crisis." 

His remarks came on the heels of the latest government report showing national unemployment surging to 7.2 percent. Obama urged quick action by Congress, saying the "the situation is dire."

"What we can't do is drag this out when we just saw a half a million more job losses," Obama said.

The incoming president believes he has a plan to help, but questions are already surfacing from members of his own party.

Layoffs Galore

Workers at Sunshine Mortgage here in Cobb County, Georgia have seen brighter days.

They woke up this morning without a job after being laid off Thursday. It's a reality millions of Americans are living with - a fact confirmed by today's latest government report, showing unemployment shooting up to 7.2 percent.

"For every day we wait, or point fingers, or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs," the President-elect warned.

Obama is urging Congress to swiftly pass his $800 billion plan to get Americans back to work through tax breaks and investments in infrastructure.

Obama Catches Flack from His Own Party

But he'll have to get through his own allies first.

Some top Democrats with pull on the nation's purse strings are questioning the effectiveness of Obama's tax cuts for small businesses.

The Senate Budget Committee chairman also wonders whether a tax cut that puts an extra $20 a week in the pockets of working Americans is enough to boost the economy.

Obama's chief political strategist, David Axelrod, calls the criticism "constructive."

"There was what one would expect, which is constructive comments," Axelrod told reporters. "I'm not going to characterize it as push-back. I'm going to characterize it as people doing their jobs."

No Plan, No Recess

One thing all parties agree on is the need for action. No matter how long it takes.

Despite grumblings, congressional leaders promise to cancel their scheduled February recess if there's no agreement on a recovery plan.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News

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