Obama and Republicans concerned about growing size of stimulus
The growing size of a planned fiscal stimulus package to revive the sagging US economy is worrying some conservative legislators and even its chief proponent: President- elect Barack Obama, dpa reported.
Some Democratic legislators have proposed a spending package of as much as 1 trillion dollars, complete with aid for states, retailers and money for new infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
Obama vowed to introduce a stimulus package as soon as he enters office in January and his transition team has been in ongoing talks with congressional leaders.
Reports on the talks range from 600 billion dollars to 850 billion dollars. Obama on Friday said a boost in spending was critical to jump-start the economy but added he was hoping to keep the costs manageable.
"I'm concerned about the numbers that are being talked about. We're not intending to spend money lightly," Obama said at a Chicago news conference when asked about the 1-trillion-dollar price tag. "We are going to be inheriting a deficit that is probably above a trillion dollars."
Regardless of the size of the package, Obama repeated warnings that the economy was likely to "get worse before it gets better" and would take "years, not months" to recover.
The world's largest economy has been in a year-long recession that could last well into 2009.
Some Republican legislators also expressed concerns Friday. Senator Judd Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, warned the suggested stimulus would "add a sizeable amount to the federal deficit."