Bush says `Congress must act on bailout - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Bush says `Congress must act on bailout

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush has issued a warning to Congress: act now on a financial rescue plan or the economy could face "painful and lasting" damage.

In brief remarks at the White House this morning, Bush pledged that his administration will work with congressional leaders to get the defeated 700-billion-dollar relief package back on track, saying "this is not the end of the legislative process."

While conceding the proposal is huge, he noted that it was dwarfed by the trillion dollars lost in yesterday's stock-market plunge. He said that "will have a direct impact on retirement accounts, pension funds and personal savings" of millions of Americans.

He also said the actual cost to the taxpayers should end up much less, arguing that once markets recover, the assets the government buys likely will gain value.

While acknowledging it's "a difficult vote for members of Congress," Bush called the situation "urgent," saying the consequences of inaction "will grow worse each day."

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