Bush Calls on Congress to Pass Stimulus Package

By Jennifer Parker

Jan 24, 2008 3:01pm

ABC News’ Jennifer Duck and Dean Norland Report: Moments after a bi-partisan economic stimulus package was announced on Capitol Hill, President George Bush made a televised statement calling the growth package "an effective, robust and temporary set of incentives." 

"This package has the right set of policies and is the right size," Bush said Thursday.

The president acknowledged Americans are concerned about the economic future but he explained the economy is "structurally sound but it is dealing with short-term disruptions in the housing market and the impact of higher energy prices."

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"The economy is strong, and it is dynamic and it is resilient," Bush said.

The stimulus package would give refunds of $600 to $1200 to most Americans who pay taxes and additional money for families with children.  Also, employed Americans who make at least $3,000 but don’t pay taxes would receive $300 rebates. 

Lawmakers believe small businesses will also benefit from the growth package in write-offs for additional purchases of new equipment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed that the plan will stimulate the economy, and if it does not, said there will be more to come.

“Should our economy worsen, we will not hesitate to advance additional legislation,”  the speaker told reporters at a news conference at the Capitol on Thursday. 

She said it will put money in the hands of working Americans and should be acted on quickly.  A fact sheet released by the speaker’s office predicted the bill would provide tax relief by this spring.

“I believe that the package that we are putting forth deserves the support of members of Congress and we will bring it to the floor at the earliest date so those rebate checks can be in the mail,” the speaker said.

But Pelosi also expressed some reservations about the deal, saying that she and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel were not completely satisfied, but refused to elaborate.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, also present at the press conference, expressed his support for the proposal.

“The beauty of this package is that it is simple, it is clean, it is neat and it will get the money back out into the American economy as quickly as possible.” Boehner said.

He also predicted broad, bi-partisan support for the bill in the House, which will consider it first, before it moves to the Senate.   

Since last Friday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, R-Calif, and Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio,  have been working on the deal that will total $150 billion.

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