Obama scheduled to meet Caterpillar workers in Peoria

By The Associated Press

EAST PEORIA, Ill. – President Barack Obama plans to push his plan for a sweeping economic stimulus bill during a stop at Caterpillar Inc. factory in his home state.

Obama is scheduled to talk during a meeting Thursday afternoon with Caterpillar workers facing the prospect of layoffs.

Caterpillar is cutting more than 20,000 jobs. The Peoria-based company says demand for its heavy construction equipment and other machinery has been severely hurt by the global economic crisis.

Obama said Wednesday Caterpillar will rehire some of its laid-off workers if the president’s nearly $800 billion stimulus bill is approved.

Obama also plans to stop Thursday evening in Springfield at a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.