On February 1st , a day before Obama was scheduled to meet with congressional leaders from both parties to make his case for the stimulus, his advisers wrote him a memo recommending that he keep the stimulus package from growing:
We believe that it is critical to draw a sharp line not to exceed $900 billion, so that the size of the package does not spiral out of control.
Senators would likely amend the bill to add about forty billion dollars in personal projects—some worthy, some wasteful. At the same time, Obama hadn’t abandoned his dream of a moon-shot project. He had replaced the smart grid with a request for twenty billion dollars in funding for high-speed trains. But including that request was risky. “Critics may argue that such a proposal is not appropriate for a recovery bill because the funding we are proposing is likely to be spent over 10+ years,” the advisers wrote.