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US/World financial crisis

Bush forecasts pain unless rescue plan adopted

Article published on the 2008-09-25 Latest update 2008-09-25 12:09 TU

 President George W. Bush(Photo: Reuters)

President George W. Bush
(Photo: Reuters)

In a prime-time television address to the US public on Wednesday, President George Bush appealed for speedy implementation of the 700-billion-dollar (485-billion-euro) federal plan to end the current financial crisis, claiming that the country's economy is in danger if it is not adopted. Later today he will host talks with presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, along with congressional leaders.

In his 13-minute address, Bush said that without swift action, the country could slip into a "long and painful recession".

Home values could plummet and foreclosures soar, while millions could lose their jobs, he said.

In an extraordinary move, Bush invited the Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama to the White House to discuss the crisis. Both candidates will attend the talks.

"Now is a time to come together - Democrats and Republicans - in a spirit of co-operation for the sake of the American people," McCain and Obama said in an unprecedented joint statement.

"The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail," they said.

McCain called for postponement of the presidential debate with Obama scheduled for Friday and announced that he was suspending his election campaign and returning to Washington to participate in resolving the country's finance crisis. 

Obama immediately rejected this proposal.

Negotiations are continuing in Congress on the financial rescue package. 

There are still many sticking points, with Democrats seeking better safeguards. Paulson has already agreed to an oversight committee to monitor the implementation of the plan.