WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday said any economic stimulus package must have an immediate impact as well as lay the groundwork for future growth.
During a Washington news conference to introduce Nancy Killefer as his choice for the nation's first chief performance officer, Obama said the package likely will top $800 billion but discussions still are under way with Congress.
Obama said every component will be scrutinized on whether it will bear fruit within the next two years as well as provide a basis for long-term growth.
He said the package will include tax relief for middle-income families and, where it makes sense, for businesses to spur investment. Also included will be help for states that have threatened to lay off essential service workers, including police and teachers, because of lack of funds.
One thing the package will not include, Obama pledged, are earmarks.
"It is important for us not to have earmarks here," Obama said, adding the process will be wholly transparent, ensuring taxpayers can keep track of how the money is spent.
"If we can get this done quickly, I have confidence not only will we be creating jobs, we will make downpayments ... on long-term savings and long-term investments," Obama said.