WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said the nation can't afford "distractions" or "delays" when it comes to his economic stimulus plan now in front of both houses of Congress.
In a morning news conference, Obama said that increasing job losses represent more working men and women "whose families have been disrupted and whose dreams have been put on hold."
He cited the recent announcements made by Microsoft, Intel, United Airlines, and Home Depot that they are laying off even more employees.
Obama told reporters the government owes it to "every American" to act with a "sense of urgency" and "common purpose." The President said these "extraordinary times" call for "swift and extraordinary action."
Trying to Sell The Plan
The new President continues to work hard to sell Congress on his economic stimulus plan, but some Republicans are objecting already. They say it spends too much money.
Forecasters predict 2009 will be yet another bad year for job layoffs. In a new report, the National Association for Business Economics shows the worst conditions in the U.S. Since 1982.
Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Washington Correspondent John Jessup.
That gives Obama more ground to make the case that his economic stimulus plan is what the country needs to get out of the recession.
However, he's got some convincing to do - mostly among Republicans like Senator John McCain, and Rep. John Boehner Minority Leader.
"As it stands now, I would not support it," McCain said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"Given the concerns that we have over the size of this package and all of the spending in this package, we don't think it's going to work. And, so if it's the plan that I see today, put me down in the no column," Boehner also told NBC's "Meet the Press."
Massive Spending on Public Works
The goal is to inject money into the economy with massive spending on Public Works, extending unemployment benefits and health care along with middle class tax cuts.
With an $825 billion price tag, President Obama wants bipartisan support for what would be the largest economic recovery package ever enacted.
"He has indicated he is willing to take ideas from anywhere, no doubt the precise composition of the package will change as it works through Congress," said Larry Summers, Dir., National Economic Council.
The House will be the first to vote this week. The Senate will then take up its own version soon thereafter. The goal is to have a bill on the President's desk by the middle of next month.