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Aides Say Economy Is Priority for Obama

  • VOA News

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's incoming White House chief of staff says the economy will be the new administration's number one priority.

In televised interviews (with ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" and CBS's "Face the Nation") on Sunday, Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel said Mr. Obama has pledged to move with deliberate haste to confront the country's economic problems.

He said Mr. Obama has made it clear he plans to govern in a bipartisan fashion. Emanuel said the large challenges facing the nation will require the leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties to work together.

John Podesta, the director of Mr. Obama's transition team, told "Fox News Sunday" that the president-elect's first concern is pushing through an economic stimulus plan. But he said it is up to President George Bush to help move the proposal.

Podesta said the incoming administration will also examine executive orders signed by Mr. Bush that are at odds with Mr. Obama's views, including an order on stem cell research. He said the new administration could easily repeal or amend such orders, because no Congressional action is necessary.

Mr. Bush and President-elect Obama are expected to meet Monday at the White House to discuss the transfer of power.

Mr. Obama said Saturday that his administration will immediately begin efforts to restore the economy when he is sworn into office January 20th. He promised to move swiftly on a plan that helps working-class families.

Mr. Bush has ordered his staff to make the transition as seamless as possible.

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