Nutrition is the corner stone of blank
The president's press conference is part of his campaign-style approach to building public support for the stimulus. Such a move could make lawmakers feel more at ease voting for the measure.
Obama told an Indiana crowd Monday afternoon that Washington has to act on the plan "immediately," warning that the economy could slide on an irreversible course if nothing is done.
"We can't posture and bicker and resort to the same failed ideas that got us into this mess in the first place," he said.
The president spoke at a town hall-style meeting in Elkhart, Ind., where the unemployment rate soared to 15.3 percent in December, more than triple the rate since December 2007.
On Tuesday, Obama plans to visit Fort Myers, Fla., an area hit hard by home foreclosures. There he will be introduced by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, one of the handful of Republican governors the Obama administration has turned to in seeking bipartisan support for the package.
The town hall event Monday was a throwback to the presidential campaign, as Obama fielded questions from the audience in what was once a hotly contested battleground state.
But the stimulus debate has presented a new battle for Obama. He's trying to dampen criticism of the bill, which some still complain is loaded with special-interest projects and is too costly.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the bill could have been just as effective at half the cost.
Every Republican in the House opposed the first version of the measure two weeks ago. And all but three Republicans are poised to oppose it in the Senate. The measure as it stands is a blend of spending, tax cuts and incentives that the administration and Democrats in Congress hope will jolt the economy out of recession and create millions of jobs.
If the bill clears the Senate, the Obama administration will next have to oversee what could be a tense negotiation between House...