Obama's week ahead: Game on
In his third week in office, president Obama unveiled CEO pay curbs as stimulus debate continued. Next week: New financial rescue plan and stimulus deadline.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Now it's really crunch time.
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is expected to unveil the new administration's plan to mitigate foreclosures and revive the banking system - two tenets of President Obama's campaign.
The announcement was originally scheduled for Monday, but the Treasury Department said Sunday it was postponing it to allow Geithner to focus on the stimulus bill that is being debated in Congress.
The bank bailout plan will overhaul the existing financial sector rescue program, a senior administration official told CNN. Some analysts believe the plan may include a much-discussed government-funded "bad bank," which would remove toxic mortgage-backed securities from bank balance sheets.
Also next week, Congress will continue to work on the stimulus package, trying to meet its self-imposed deadline to pass the bill by next Friday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said if the legislation is not passed by then, Congress will continue to work through its planned Presidents' Day recess.
In another effort to gain public support for his stimulus plan, Obama will travel to Elkhart, Ind., on Monday and Ft. Meyers, Fla., on Tuesday town hall meetings about the economic recovery effort. Unemployment rates in Elkhart and Ft. Meyers have soared over the past year.
With several important and potentially game-changing announcements and votes looming, Obama plans a White House press conference for Monday night.
CNNMoney.com will continue to track Obama's first 100 days in office and keep score of the government's unprecedented efforts to fix the ailing economy. (Last week's article is available here.)
CEO pay cuts: On Wednesday, Obama and Geithner announced their plan to cap executive pay at companies receiving government bailout funding. The new rules will cap annual cash compensation at $500,000 for those CEOs.
Obama and Geithner said the moves are necessary to "restore trust" in the financial system. Last week, Obama lashed out at Wall Street executives for receiving $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008 after corporate profits tumbled, dragging down retirement funds and the overall financial sector.
Stimulus vote drags on: After the House on Jan. 28 passed its bill by a near party-line vote, without a single Republican voting in favor, passage in the Senate is proving more difficult.
As lawmakers tussled over the size of the spending and tax-cut provisions in the bill, a bipartisan group of about 20 senators tried to negotiate a new version that would shave tens of billions of dollars from the package's price tag and be more targeted to what the bill's critics consider to be the most simulative measures.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., originally stated that the bill had enough votes to pass as-is on Thursday. But after consulting with the White House, Reid decided to give the bipartisan group of senators one more day to find a compromise before calling a vote. A tentative deal was reached late Friday night.
Obama lobbies for support: Obama delivered a rousing speech on Thursday night at a House Democratic Caucus retreat in Williamsburg, Va. The president continued to lay out his case for stimulus, encouraging members of both parties not to "think narrowly," but rather to "think big."
"You get the argument, 'Well, this is not a stimulus bill; this is a spending bill.' What do you think a stimulus is? That's the whole point," Obama said.
On Tuesday, Obama's administration laid out the kind of bill the president wants to see Congress pass. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag wrote a letter Tuesday to leaders on Capitol Hill, reiterating that the bill should not contain earmarks, and that the recovery package should address near-term need and long-term economic growth.
Orszag also urged the Senate Republicans to hold off on adding big provisions addressing the housing crisis until they see the administration's foreclosure prevention plan.
Gregg tapped for Commerce: On Tuesday, Obama announced that Sen. Judd Greg, R-N.H., will be his pick for Commerce secretary, after the president's first pick, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, withdrew from consideration last month. Gregg would be the third Republican member of Obama's cabinet should he be confirmed.
Economic board announced: Friday, Obama called on former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to lead a new economic advisory board. The group will meet on a regular basis and provide independent, non-partisan advice to Obama on how to best promote economic growth and stability.