All parties will ‘come together’ on finance rescue: Bush

September 27th, 2008 - 12:23 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Sep 26 (DPA) In his first remarks since an urgent and massive finance rescue plan stalled in the Congress, US President George W. Bush Friday said he was optimistic and determined that an agreement will be reached.”We are going to get a package passed. We will rise to the occasion. Republicans and Democrats will come together and pass a substantial rescue plan,” he said in a two-minute appearance.

The $700-billion rescue plan was left up in the air late Thursday after a stormy meeting called by Bush at the White House broke up with no consensus.

Presidential candidates John McCain, the Republican senator who suggested the meeting, and Democrat Barack Obama joined legislative leaders for the session.

The Democrats, who have held the majority in Congress for two years and appear to have enough votes to pass the plan, are in the difficult position of having to work with the deeply unpopular Republican president to find a way to stave off full-blown financial panic.

Republicans, especially in the House of Representatives, have raised the loudest condemnations against plan, which is anathema for the centre-right advocates of free markets.

Democrats insist that a majority of Republicans in Congress get behind the bill, seeking the political cover of a bipartisan plan amid an increasingly angry public reaction to the idea that tax dollars will bail out the Wall Street firms whose messy investments caused the current crisis.

But Republicans, having lost the congressional majority in 2006 due to Bush’s increasing unpopularity, are looking to elections on Nov 4 with an even more worried eye over the mammoth bailout of Wall Street.

Bush said that his administration “continues to work with the Congress on a rescue plan”.

But he said he understood that the size of the request - $700 billion is about one-quarter of the current annual US budget - and the challenge of allowing legislators to express their opinions presents a huge challenge.

“We need a rescue plan,” Bush said, adding that it needed to come quickly. “This is hard work”.

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