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
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
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
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
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