00:00:00 | 3:02:50




Barack Obama wants government spending and tax cuts big enough and soon enough to revitalize the economy. We hear debate about what might happen if he gets his stimulus plan -- or if he doesn't. Also, Roland Burris and the US Senate, and Leon Panetta for the CIA.  A breath of fresh air and accountability or an unwelcome outsider?

Banner image: President-elect Barack Obama (C) meets with Democratic and Republican congressional leadership, including (L-R) House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (RKY) on Capitol Hill January 5, 2009. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Making News Burris Distracts Senate's Attention on Opening Day of the 111th Congress 6 MIN, 5 SEC

As the newly-constituted Senate convened today, Roland Burris arrived on Capitol Hill to claim the Illinois seat vacated by Barack Obama. The former Attorney General of Illinois has been appointed by Governor Rod Blagojevich to fill out Obama's unexpired term, but he has not been certified by the Illinois Secretary of State. Jonathan Allen is covering the Senate for Congressional Quarterly.

Jonathan Allen, Sidewire / Roll Call (@jonallendc)

Main Topic Obama Pushes Stimulation, but How Much and How Soon? 36 MIN, 10 SEC

Two weeks before inauguration day, President-elect Barack Obama is lobbying Democrats and Republicans for a stimulus package that is 60% federal spending and 40% tax cuts for individuals and for business. The major goal of his "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" is three million new jobs, mostly in the private sector. It's the New Deal, Keynesian economics used during the Great Depression. Obama is hoping for buy-in from fellow Democrats and Republicans, but supporters fear it won't be big enough, soon enough to make a difference. Opponents call it an "anti-stimulus" plan that could lead to stagflation. We hear both sides.

Martin Kady, Politico (@mkady)
William Gale, Co-director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
James Galbraith, University of Texas, Austin
Tom Donlan, Barron's (@barronsonline)

Reporter's Notebook Is Panetta the Right Man for the Top Job at the CIA? 6 MIN, 52 SEC

Leon Panetta is an eight-term former congressman and White House Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton with no hands on experience in gathering intelligence. His appointment to head Barack Obama's CIA comes as a surprise. If he can be confirmed, he would provide a clean break with Bush Administration policies. California Democrat Diane Feinstein, who will chair Senate Intelligence Committee on the next CIA Director, says she wasn't informed that Panetta had been chosen and will look hard at his experience and qualifications. Greg Miller is national security correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

Greg Miller, Washington Post (@gregpmiller)

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From To the Point



View All Events


Player Embed Code