Wednesday, January 7, 2009
For budget-conscious lawmakers, President-elect Barack Obama is offering a spoonful of sugar with his $775 billion dose of economic stimulus -- the promise of fiscal discipline in the future.
Obama is eager to sign the stimulus quickly after taking office, to yank the economy out of its downward spiral. But the price tag is jarring to some.
Yesterday, in comments that soothed some wary lawmakers, he promised to bring responsibility and accountability to Washington, calling the need for budget reform "an absolute necessity."
Obama wants Congress to complete action on the recovery plan by the end of the month or the first week of next month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to press fellow Democrats today to pass the legislation by mid-February.
Despite his reassurances that the long-term budget will be more balanced, Obama warns the nation could face trillion-dollar deficits for years to come.