Thursday, Sept 25, 2008
President George W. Bush summoned Barack Obama and John McCain to the White House as he warned a failure by Congress to agree to a $700 billion bailout plan would lead to a “long and painful recession”.
In a prime-time television address, Mr Bush said America’s “entire economy is in danger” and implored Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill to act swiftly and vote for the package. “It should be enacted as soon as possible,” he said.
He stressed: “Without immediate action by Congress, American could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold.”
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Mr Bush warned that “the market is not functioning properly” and that with a “widespread loss of confidence” major business sectors were at risk. More banks could fail, triggering a recession, pushing down houses prices and “millions of Americans could lose their jobs”. He added: “We must not let this happen.”
In the long run, he said, Americans had good reason to be confident in their country’s economic strength. “Despite corrections in the marketplace and instances of abuse, democratic capitalism is the best system ever devised.”
Shortly after the speech, Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said that the majority Democrats had reached an agreement on the financial bailout plan and there would therefore be enough votes to pass it and send it to Mr Bush.
This article was posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 3:52 am