Obama warns of dire consequences without stimulus

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(AP) - President-elect Barack Obama warned of direand long-lasting consequences if Congress doesn't pumpunprecedented dollars into the national economy, making an urgentpitch Thursday for his mammoth spending proposal in his firstspeech since the election.

"In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse" ifWashington doesn't go far enough to address the spreading crisis,the Democrat said as fresh economic reports showed an outlookgrowing increasingly grim.

In the speech at George Mason University outside Washington,Obama asked Congress to work with him "day and night, on weekendsif necessary" to pass a revival plan within the next few weeks sothat it can be ready for his signature shortly after he takesoffice on Jan. 20.

The president-elect cast blame on "an era of profoundirresponsibility that stretched from corporate boardrooms to thehalls of power in Washington." But he added, "The very fact thatthis crisis is largely of our own making means that it is notbeyond our ability to solve."

"I don't believe it's too late to change course, but it will beif we don't take dramatic action as soon as possible," he said.

Obama laid out goals of doubling the production of alternativeenergy over three years, updating most federal buildings to improveenergy efficiency, making medical records electronic, expandingbroadband networks and updating schools and universities.

"It's a plan that represents not just new policy but a wholenew approach to meeting our most urgent challenges," Obama said.

To watch Obama's full speech, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and selet iO Extra.

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