Bush Praises Bailout Efforts on Hill
In his radio address Saturday morning, President Bush said he remains confident a financial bailout bill will be passed, and he praised Members of Congress for their bipartisanship on the issue. The president even lauded initiatives that have emerged to change his original proposal. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have contributed constructive proposals that have improved this plan, he said. In his response, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) agreed that Congress must act. If we fail, every American could be adversely affected, he said. But Hoyer used much of his response to fault Republicans for the financial mess that has led to the need for a bailout. To most Americans, the crisis on Wall Street may have looked sudden, Hoyer said. In reality, it was anything but sudden. It built continually, for years years in which fiscal irresponsibility was made worse by regulatory neglect. Hoyer touted what he said were Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obamas (Ill.) efforts to crack down on fraud in the housing market and raise warnings about the problem. Bush in his remarks continued his effort to convince the nation that the $700 billion financial market bailout he has proposed is necessary for both Wall Street and Main Street. If it were possible to let every irresponsible firm on Wall Street fail without affecting you and your family, I would do it, Bush said. But that is not possible. The failure of the financial system would mean financial hardship for many of you. Bush said that if banks were to stop lending, consumers and businesses would suffer. The president also sought to reassure listeners about the high price tag for the package, arguing that the government would recoup much if not all of the money. The final cost of this plan will be far less than $700 billion, he said.