Obama and some Senate Democrats have indicated a willingness to accommodate Republican suggestions and objections to pick up GOP support.
"I've done extraordinary outreach, I think, to Republicans because they had some good ideas and I want to make sure we get those ideas incorporated," Obama said Sunday.
Democrats are hoping to attract some GOP votes by adding tax breaks, cutting spending and increasing infrastructure spending on the nation's roads and bridges.
"Only 5 percent of this bill goes to roads and infrastructure, and you're trying to tell the American people this is an infrastructure bill?" Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."
Democrats plan to offer an amendment with $20 billion to $30 billion in infrastructure spending to the stimulus.
The president said programs in the bill that have nothing to do with creating jobs would be removed, and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has a long list of items he calls wasteful in the current legislation, including $248 million for furniture for the new Department of Homeland Security Building, $25 million for salary increases at the FBI and $75 million for smoking-cessation programs.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., suggested Sunday that the pressure was on the Democrats, not the Republicans.
"I see support for this legislation eroding. I think the more people around the country see of it, the angrier they get because it's very wasteful," Kyl said.
Despite Obama's conciliatory language, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is fighting back with political ads aimed at 28 Republican members of Congress. The committee's Putting Families First campaign is also sending e-mails to 3 million voters and making nearly 100,000 phone calls denouncing the House GOP's refusal to support the bill.
"House Republicans just don't get it," the DCCC said in a statement. "They celebrate being the party of no and status quo."