U.S. President Barack Obama is
meeting with top Democrats and Republicans from Congress as he tries to gain
support for an expensive economic recovery plan.
Mr. Obama will host the members of the House of Representatives and Senate at the White House Friday.
Republicans have expressed concern about whether a proposed $825 billion stimulus plan crafted by Democrats will accomplish its goals of creating jobs and helping the economy.
During his first week in office, Mr. Obama went to work quickly to address major issues. On Thursday, he ordered the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to be closed within one year.
He also signed orders to review military trials of terror suspects, and to ban the harshest interrogation methods.
The president also named special envoys for the Middle East and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Mr. Obama said that former Senator George Mitchell will travel to the Middle East soon to make sure the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is sustainable. The president said he is deeply concerned about the loss of both Palestinian and Israeli life, and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip.
Mr. Obama named former ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke as a special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying that area is the "central front" of the struggle against terrorism.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.