President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to act swiftly to pass his massive economic recovery package, warning that every day of delay means more Americans lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. On the floor of U.S. Senate Thursday, Democrats and Republicans held emotional pleas for and against the now $900 billion stimulus bill, with Democratic leaders saying they hope to have the votes to pass the measure by Friday.
President Obama fought back on Thursday against criticism of his economic recovery package by Republican lawmakers. In a passionate opinion article published in The Washington Post newspaper, Mr. Obama accused his critics of ignoring the depth of the economic crisis and of promoting "failed theories" that tax cuts alone will solve America's economic problems.
The president repeated that same message in remarks at the Energy Department, calling on Republicans and Democrats in Congress to "rise to the moment".
"The time for talk is over. The time for action is now, because we know that if we do not act, a bad situation will become dramatically worse. Crisis could turn into catastrophe for families and businesses across the country."
Mr. Obama painted a dire picture if lawmakers fail to act, saying that the recession could lingerfor years and that the economy would lose 5 million more jobs.
He said he understands that the economic recovery bill before Congress is not perfect, but he insisted that the scale and scope of the plan are appropriate for the severity of the economic crisis.
On the Senate floor, emotions and tempers flared on both sides of the aisle as a showdown vote on the measure appeared imminent.
Democratic Senator Richard Durbin railedagainst Republicans for accusing Democrats of increasing the national debt with the proposed recovery bill.
"Barack Obama has been president of the United States for 2 weeks and 2 days. He did not create this economic crisis, he inherited this economic crisis."
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the current version of the recovery bill "stinks" and he accused Democrats for not seeking input from Republicans when they wrote the measure.
"So I am telling you right now that if this is the solution to George Bush's problems, the country is going to get worse. If this is the new way of doing business, if this is the 'change' we all can believe in, America's best days are behind her."
Behind the scenes, a group of moderate Democratic and Republican senators met privately on Thursday to try to find a compromise solution that the Senate could pass bytrimming the massive legislation by as much as $100 billion.
If the Senate passes the bill, the Senate and House versions will need to be reconciled before President Obama can sign the measure into law, which he says he hopes to do this month.
linger for years:（拖延数年）
rail: to utter bitter complaint or vehement denunciation（抱怨）
trim: to cut down, as to required size or shape（削减）