Thursday, January 24, 2008 2:51 PM
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH : This morning, my administration reached an agreement with Speaker Pelosi and with Minority Leader Boehner on an economic growth package.
Mr. Secretary, thank you for handling the negotiations and appreciate your hard work.
This agreement was the result of intensive discussions and many phone calls, late-night meetings and the kind of cooperation that some predicted was not possible here in Washington.
It also required patience, determination and good will.
I thank the speaker and I thank Leader Boehner for their hard work and for their leadership, and for showing the American people that we can come together to help our nation deal with difficult economic challenges.
I'm pleased that this agreement meets the criterion that I set forth last week to provide an effective, robust and temporary set of incentives that will boost our economy and encourage job creation.
This package has the right set of policies and is the right size. The incentives in this package will lead to higher consumer spending and increased business investment this year.
Importantly, this package recognizes that lowering taxes is a powerful and efficient way to help consumers and businesses. I've always believed that allowing people to keep more of their own money and to use it as they see fit is the best way to help our economy grow.
I'm also please that this agreement does not include any tax increases, as well as unnecessary spending projects that would have little immediate impact on our economy.
I know Americans are concerned about our economic future. Our economy is structurally sound, but it is dealing with short-term disruptions in the housing market and the impact of higher energy prices.
These challenges are slowing growth. Yet Americans can also be confident about our long-term outlook. Our economy is strong, it is dynamic and it is resilient.
It has led the world for many decades. And with the right policies in place, including the extension of the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 that have helped our economy, I firmly believe we're going to continue to lead the world.
Because the country needs this boost to the economy now, I urge the House and the Senate to enact this economic growth agreement into law as soon as possible.
We have an opportunity to come together and take the swift, decisive action our economy urgently needs.
Secretary Paulson is here to answer any of your questions. At my request, he has taken the lead in negotiations, like I mentioned.
And you did a superb job, Mr. Secretary. Thank you very much.