New Congress and Stimulus Package on Bloomberg

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... >> as we mentioned, the congress is being sworn in today and president-elect obama told house speaker nancy pelosi that he favors a price tag of close to $775 billion for his economic stimulus plan. for more insight on the plan and the potential time table, we're joined by house majority leader steny hoyer. congressman, thank you very much for being with us. the big topic is the stimulus package. you along with other congressional leaders met with president-elect obama. you all on the same page about what this package will look like? >> i think we had a very positive meeting. generally, we are on the same page. everybody in the room, republicans and democrats, and the president-elect, all believe that we need to act and act soon and very substantially. that is the advice we're getting from economists across the board. they all say we need to act in a very substantial way and we need to do it quickly. we also have the discussion that we need to do it right. we need to carefully consider it and let the public know what is under consideration. i think it will be on line as soon as it is put together. generally, yes, we are on the same page. >> can you be more specific? there have been a lot of concerns expressed by economist paul krugman, for example, that this could take months and by then it could be too late. do you have a timetable or a solid deadline? >> we want to make sure that this bill is signed into law before the middle of next february. we think it will take a few weeks for consideration in house. we will get that over to the senate for consideration in late january. the senate will take a couple of weeks and we hope we will be able to send it to the president. our objective is to do that no later than mid february. we think that's appropriate both in terms of time for consideration and timeliness of passage. >> is any dispute as to the amount obama is looking at $775 billion is a, at the right amount -- is that the right amount? >> there's no finance figure that is correct -- original finite figure that is correct. we clearly have an agreement that it needs to be very substantial. economists recommend anything between $800,000,000,000.10 0.3 trillion dollars. -- eight hundred million dollars and $1.3 trillion. >> do you believe it will get bipartisan support? do you believe republicans will support this bill? >> based on our discussions yesterday, senator mcconnell and the leader all indicated that the problem was substantial, it needed to be responded to, and we need to work together certainly. , president-elect obama coming to capitol hill demonstrated his priority to do this in the near term and to do it in a way that will have an effect on people's lives in this country. i'm optimistic. >> this is a huge package. is there anything that you see right now that could cause problems for passage and for an agreement among republicans for passage in both the house and senate? >> once the packages put together, i think we will have hearings on it, and i think there may well be items which will be subject to a debate and perhaps this agreement. i do believe there is a commitment to come together to. pass this. there will be a very substantial tax component to the relief to working americans, to get additional dollars in their paychecks starting now. we think that will have a very positive effect. we want to invest in infrastructure and creating american jobs here at home and doing things that need to be done. we also want to give the states assistance. they are being badly hurt by this economic downturn and they're very stretched as it relates to a number of their programs. education, health care, nutrition programs, and food for their people. there is a general agreement. there will be a difference of opinions expressed. i'm very hopeful and optimistic that we can come together and pass this package in the near term. >> congressman, thank you very much for joining us. that was house majority peter steny hoyer...