Barack Obama has urged lawmakers to resolve their differences and reach agreement over a stimulus package for the economy. A fourth day of deliberations takes place in Congress today. The US president has indicated he might be prepared to see the plan trimmed by around 100 billion dollars to just over 800 billion dollars: “The time for talk is over. The time for action is now, because we know that if we do no act, a bad situation will become dramatically worse. Crisis could turn into catastrophe for families and businesses across the country. And I refuse to let that happen,” said Obama.
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has expressed cautious optimism that he can muster the 60 votes needed in the 100-seat chamber to get the bill passed in the next days. Urging action, Obama said time was of the essence as recent data showed new jobless claims at a 26-year high. The US president has clearly scaled down his ambitions for a large bipartisan majority, signalling he would be satisfied with only a narrow majority.