Obama Takes Stimulus to the People

President promises accountability on nearly $1 trillion package.

ByABC News
January 24, 2009, 7:20 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2009— -- President Obama went directly to the public today in his first weekly address since moving into the White House, making the case for his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package that he hopes to sign next month.

"I have proposed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to immediately jumpstart job creation as well as long-term economic growth," the president said.

Knowing the criticism that awaits the plan -- with its massive price tag and fewer tax breaks than Republicans would have liked -- when it reaches Capitol Hill, the president offered specifics to make his case.

"We will double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and biofuels over the next three years," Obama said.

The stimulus would also:

"This is a twofer. It's a stimulus plan but it's also a Democratic Party wish list," said political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "The average president doesn't get nearly a trillion dollars of new money to spend in a whole term. Obama's going to get it in the first month or so of his presidency."

Promising a new openness, Obama said he'll show Americans the money on a new White House Web site -- listing projects in each town, the cost, the contractor and how many people it will employ.

He said that Web site will allow the public to "hold my administration accountable" for the money being spent and where it is going. He hopes to have the stimulus passed by mid-February, and the site up and running shortly thereafter.

But Republicans, who along with Democratic leaders met with Obama on Friday, still have reservations. A Democratic version was approved by a House committee last week without a single Republican vote.