Bush backs 'bold' £380bn bail-out bill

Click to follow
The Independent US

The £380bn rescue package for the United States' economy is an "extraordinary agreement to deal with extraordinary problems" in the nation's economy, President George Bush said today.

Mr Bush was speaking at the White House in a bid to reassure the markets before they opened in New York this morning and ahead of a debate on the bill in the US Congress.

He said he expected "much, if not all" of the $700bn (£380bn) cost to the taxpayer to be paid back and added that it was a "bold bill" which would "help keep the crisis from spreading throughout our economy".

Mr Bush praised the leadership "on both sides of the aisle who came together when our nation was counting on them" during the "sometimes difficult" negotiations.

He said the bill addressed the "root cause" of the financial crisis and added that it ensured failed executives would not receive a windfall payment from the US taxpayer.

"With this strong and decisive legislation, we will help restart the flow of credit so American families can meet their daily needs and American businesses can make purchases, ship goods and meet their payrolls," Mr Bush said.

"It will make clear that the United States is serious about restoring confidence and stability in our financial system."

The President said he understood concerns about the large amount of money involved, but added that it was necessary to have an impact on the financial system.

"In fact, we expect that over time much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back," he said.

Mr Bush repeated his assertion that the bill would present a "difficult vote" for members of the US Congress but added that he was confident members of both parties would support it.

He went on: "Congress can send a strong signal to the markets at home and abroad by passing this bill promptly.

"A vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community."

He said the plan would "begin to restore strength and stability to America's financial system and overall economy".

"I'm confident that in the long-run America will overcome these challenges and remain the most dynamic and productive economy in the world," he said.