New Stimulus Plan Discussed by Steny Hoyer Under Democratic Administration

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... >>> the house began work on the obama economic agenda today, the appropriations committee giving consideration to the $825 billion package and the full house for voting to spell out how the president should spend the remaining $350 billion of park money. for more information, we turn to steny hoyer. i have to ask, first of all, how did it feel to wake up to a democrat and a white house? >> terrific, not only because barack obama is an extraordinary leader as he showed it in his campaign and yesterday in his speech both on domestic policy and international policy on the responsibilities of each of us to be part of the solution, but also because there is now an opportunity to take the actions this country has needed for a long time. it is a wonderful feeling. it is a daunting feeling because the challenges confronting this administration and this congress are unlike perhaps any in recent times, but i think the president-elect, now president obama said today that americans are up to the task. >> let's start with the stimulus package, beginning to look at today. are you still on course to get this done by the middle of february? >> we are still on course. my expectation is the house appropriations committee will be completed no later than tomorrow. there will be a mark up of the tax side of the recovery and reinvestment program tomorrow. it is my expectation we will have the bill on the floor wednesday the 28th, and pass that bill through the house, ascended to the senate, where i am hopeful they will -- and send it to the senate, where i am hopeful it will pass before we break. >> will you have to hammer this out? >> i think there will be discussions between the senate and house, as is always the case, there have been close communications and cooperation, working not only with the house and senate but the incoming administration. i think there is a lot of agreement and i am hopeful that will hold and we will stay on schedule. clearly, all the economists have told us, as tim geithner said today, we need to act boldly and quickly. >> any worries about tim geithner are's nomination? >> i was not there. from everything i hear, the nomination of tim geithner will be approved, it will be approved because most people believe that tim meisner is a person who -- tim meisner understands the challenges. he is playing a constructive role in meeting that challenge and will give confidence to the markets, which is what we need. >> your colleagues on the other side of the aisle and asked today for a meeting with the president to offer their ideas. they do not like the democratic version of the bill. the you expect them to get that hearing with barack obama? -- do you expect them to get that hearing with barack obama? >> i do. at least with leadership. my expectation is the president will want to have a meeting with republican leadership, as he has already done, and he will have those meetings on a regular basis to discuss not only this very substantial issue but other issues as they come about. >> are you willing to consider changes to the tax part of the legislation? >> i think it could proposals are made, we ought to consider them. -- if good proposals are made, we ought to consider them. we need to act in an expeditious fashion. the failure to do show -- the failure to do so will hurt the economy. we're still in rocky shape. i was speaking with somebody today who said the banks are in greater trouble than we thought they were. decisive action soon is necessary. >> are you prepared to provide even more tarp funds to the banks? you all voted to devote more of the money to homeowners, but it sounds like the banks will need more money. >> we will have to say. the problem we have, peter, is the failure to act may be much more costly than the action itself, even when we're talking about terms like $ 350 billion tarp or the recovery and reinvestment package. even with those extraordinarily large numbers, it may not be enough to make sure the economy is stabilized and improves. if it does not, it may cost us more in the long run than the ...