Tue, February 10, 2009
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Obama's case for stimulus

2009-02-10 09:12:27 GMT2009-02-10 17:12:27 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

At a nighttime news conference at the White House, US President Barack Obama continued to take his case for a massive economic stimulus package directly to the the American public, urging Congress to move swiftly to pass a stimulus plan before the crisis worsens.

Holding his first prime-time news conference since taking office, Obama pressed lawmakers to act without delay to resolve differences over an $800 billion-plus economic rescue plan expected to help define his young presidency.

SOUNDBITE: President Barack Obama saying (English):

"With the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life."

With the economy shedding jobs, people losing their homes and the economy struggling for growth, Obama said there is little doubt that the nation is in trouble.

SOUNDBITE: President Barack Obama saying (English):

"If there's anyone out there who still doesn't believe this constitutes a full-blown crisis, I suggest speaking to one of the millions of Americans whose lives have been turned upside down because they don't know where their next paycheck is coming from.

In his appearance in the East Room of the White House, Obama was asked about how he sees US policy towards Iran moving forward.

SOUNDBITE: President Barack Obama saying (English):

"My expectation is in the coming months we will be looking for openings that can be created. Where we can start sitting across the table face to face, diplomatic overtures, that will allow us to move our policy in a different direction."

Obama was also asked the way forward in Afghanistan as the US continues to review its strategy there after Afghanistan witnessed one of its deadliest years in 2008.

"I am not going to allow Al Qaeda or bin Laden to operate with impunity planning attacks on the the US homeland"

Obama will head to Florida Tuesday to continue to press his case for stimulating the economy.

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