Washington, (Prensa Latina) This will be a decisive week for President Barack Obama to have his controversial economic rescue plan approved and to tour the south of the United States.

Obama’s tour was preceded by statements by the head of the White House’s National Economic Council, Lawrence H. Summers, who told ABC News on Sunday that the United States is going through its worse crisis since World War II.

Under pressure from several political fronts, the Democratic president will seek popular support in the states of Indiana and Florida, after the Republicans in Congress postponed a debate on the $900 billion financial stimulus program.

According to White House spokespeople, Obama decided to spend this week in direct contact with the US people, mainly from the communities that have been hardest hit by recession.

Amid the escalating economic crisis, the US president officially set up the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, made up of representatives of social and ex governmental sectors, and headed by ex-Federal Reserve Director Paul Volcker.

Obama said that in order to counter recession, the White House needs to listen to suggestions from a wide range of experts who will provide a perspective from outside the government.

The United States lost nearly 600,000 jobs last month and the national unemployment rate increased to 7.6 percent, the highest over the past 16 years, according to government sources.