Stephanopoulos: Pelosi Offers to Postpone Congress’ Adjournment to Address Economic Crisis

By Julia Hoppock

Sep 18, 2008 6:28pm

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos reports: In a letter to President Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered this afternoon to postpone Congress’ planned adjournment next Friday, Sept. 26, to address the ongoing financial crisis.

In the letter, Pelosi says she wants to ensure a consistent approach to the "ongoing market turmoil" by developing a bipartisan recovery effort. 

The speaker’s letter signals that Democrats are prepared to accept the president’s plan for Wall Street, but also demands a second stimulus package targeted at Main Street. 

Pelosi says such a package must include five components: "Investment in infrastructure for economic growth and job creation here at home, home heating assistance at a time of record energy costs, extended Unemployment Insurance for the growing number of Americans looking for work, Food Stamps that will help ensure we feed hungry families in a time of crisis, and assistance to maintain critical health care coverage jeopardized by state budget cuts."

Pelosi says she wants to "balance accountability to the U.S. taxpayer with protecting American families from the crisis’s fallout."

Below is the full text of the letter:

September 18, 2008

Dear Mr. President:

The worsening crisis in our financial markets demands strong solutions and decisive leadership. 

Already, House and Senate committees are investigating both the regulatory lapses and market oversight failures that resulted in this crisis, as well as possible solutions.  This work will continue.

Accordingly, we stand ready beyond the targeted adjournment date of September 26, to permit Congress to consider legislative proposals and conduct necessary investigations.

Going forward, we need to understand how government failed to prevent this financial crisis, and how we can avoid future mismanagement and denial.

Thus far, we have seen a reactive, case-by-case approach to a severe crisis -– a crisis attributable, in part, to a history of indifference to responsible regulation of the financial markets.  We need to hear from you about a comprehensive and effective systemic response to ongoing market turmoil — one that will restore stability, grow our economy, create jobs, and insulate hardworking, middle-class Americans on Main Street from Wall Street’s crisis.

The worsening economy demands another bipartisan economic recovery effort.  This effort must address:

Investment in infrastructure for economic growth and job creation here at home;
home heating assistance at a time of record energy costs;
extended Unemployment Insurance for the growing number of Americans looking for work;
Food Stamps that will help ensure we feed hungry families in a time of crisis; and
assistance to maintain critical health care coverage jeopardized by state budget cuts.

We stand ready to work with you and your administration to consider constructive solutions that stabilize our financial markets and balance accountability to the U.S. taxpayer with protecting American families from the crisis’s fallout.

Thank you for your willingness to work with us to address these issues, which affect every American family.

Sincerely,

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

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