29 September 2008 13:31 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US President George Bush issued an urgent appeal on Monday for quick congressional approval of the $700bn (€476bn) financial bailout plan, saying prompt action by Congress is needed to reassure world markets.
Speaking at the White House just minutes before the House of Representatives was to begin debating the controversial rescue plan, Bush said that the bailout legislation hammered out over the weekend by Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress “must be passed”.
“I understand this will be a difficult vote, but I am confident that members of both parties will support it,” Bush said.
The president’s recognition that the measure faces a difficult vote reflects considerable unease among many in Congress about the costly rescue plan.
All 435 members of the House are up for re-election in the ?xml:namespace>
There was speculation on Monday that despite the appeals from Bush and Republican leaders in the House and Senate, many rank-and-file RepublicanHouse members will vote against the bailout bill, leaving Democrats to carry the measure with their built-in House majority.
If the bailout effort fails to revive US and foreign financial markets over the next few weeks, Republicans who voted against it could then claim that they were right to do so.
In addition, there are concerns that if enough Democrats join Republicans in opposing the bill, it could fail to get the 218-vote simple majority needed to pass.
Bush urged members of both parties in Congress to support the measure, saying it is needed to “help restart the flow of credit so that Americans can get on with their daily lives, businesses can ship goods and make their payrolls”.
The bailout plan, he said, “will make clear to the world that the
Bush conceded, however, that the rescue plan might not have immediate effect.
“Even with these steps,” Bush said, referring to the bailout legislation and earlier federal buyouts of troubled banks, “we will continue to face serious challenges, and the housing correction will continue to press our financial system for some time.”
“But I am confident that this plan will begin to restore strength and stability to our financial system and the overall economy,” Bush said.
The House was scheduled to convene at 08:00 Eastern time (12:00 GMT). The Senate is expected to consider the emergency rescue legislation on Wednesday.
($1 = €0.68)
To discuss issues facing the chemicals industry go to ICIS connect
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|