Bush Addresses Nation, Urges Prompt Passage of Bailout Bill

Early this morning President George Bush addressed the American public from the White House. Speaking before a group of reporters, the President spoke in favor of swift passage of the bailout bill slated to be taken up by the House this morning.He stressed the “bipartisan” nature of the agreement and described the legislations as ” urgently needed to address a crisis in our financial system that threatens the entire U.S. economy.” He took the position that the bill as drafted would provide the “the necessary tools and funding to help protect our economy against a system-wide breakdown.” He also noted that it would provide access to credit for citizens and businesses. The original Administration proposal was significantly modified. “Many members of Congress contributed important ideas to improve the legislation my Administration proposed. I appreciate the negotiators considering those ideas and incorporating them in this agreement.”He called the vote “difficult,” a reference to the many complaints, especially from conservatives, that the bill was interfering with a free market. Bush, without noting the particulars of such concerns, urged that Congress approve the legislation promptly.