- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2008


NEW YORK (AP) – President Bush has been sought out by world leaders in New York clamoring for reassurances that his economic rescue plan will work, he said Tuesday, and he is telling them that the package is sound and that Congress will pass legislation this week.

“One of the things I’ve heard here in my stay thus far in New York is from world leaders wondering whether or not the United States has the right plan to deal with this economic crisis,” Mr. Bush said, during a meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

“And I’ve assured them that the plan laid out by Secretary Paulson is a robust plan to deal with a serious problem,” he said.

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Global leaders have also raised questions about whether Democrats in Congress will agree to pass a bill quickly, as debate on Capitol Hill has already caused markets to dive this week.

“I’m confident,” the president said, “that there will be a bipartisan bill to address the financial situation and provide a rescue plan to make sure that there’s some stability in the markets.”

The president is speaking to the United Nations Tuesday morning in New York.

The White House laid down an even more strict line than Mr. Bush, stressing that, in their view, Congress must pass legislation by the end of this week.

“There should be no question out there that this plan will get done this week,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto on a conference call with reporters. “We are very, very confident that it will get done this week. We believe it needs to get done this week.”

Mr. Fratto said it is “unthinkable” that Congress would work into next week on the rescue plan.

“It would be a very, very serious situation for our economy were we not to get this legislation passed,” he said.

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