Despite reports of tension between Obama and congressional Democrats, Nancy Pelosi emphasized that they remain the president's "most enthusiastic supporters."Howie P.S.: Harry Reid is now saying "We Have The Votes."
As whispers of tension between the White House and congressional Democrats cloud negotiations over the stimulus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reassured her rank and file Thursday that they remain President Barack Obama's "most enthusiastic supporters."
"We have his back," Pelosi told a roomful of Democrats at the party's annual retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, according to people in the room.
From the AP:
President Barack Obama says the time for talk on an economic recovery package is over and "the time for action is now."
Speaking at the Energy Department, Obama made a fresh plea for the stimulus plan that the Senate is debating. He cited the latest bad economic news of jobless claims as another reason for quick action.
He said: "The time for talk is over, the time for action is now."
He also launched a shot at critics while talking about energy, questioning, "are these folks serious?"
Now, I read the other day that critics of this plan ridiculed our notion that we should use part of the money to modernize the entire fleet of federal vehicles to take advantage of state of the art fuel efficiency. This is what they call pork. You know the truth. It will not only save the government significant money over time, it will not only create manufacturing jobs for folks who are making these cars, it will set a standard for private industry to match. And so when you hear these attacks deriding something of such obvious importance as this, you have to ask yourself -- are these folks serious? Is it any wonder that we haven't had a real energy policy in this country?
For the last few years, I've talked about these issues with Americans from one end of this country to another. And Washington may not be ready to get serious about energy independence, but I am. And so are you. And so are the American people.
During his speech Obama also issued a strong critique of the GOP's economic policies, even though he didn't utter the party's name. He told the audience that:
In the last few days, we've seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read but you'd be very familiar with because you've been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer. They're rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems; that government doesn't have a role to play; that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough; that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges -- the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They've taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars, and they've brought our economy to a halt. And that's precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment. And now is the time to move forward, not back. Now is the time for action.