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  Tuesday, March 31, 2020
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President George W. Bush has urged U.S. lawmakers to approve
President George W. Bush has urged U.S. lawmakers to approve an amended $700 billion plan to buy up bad debt from banks to rescue the country's financial system.

The proposals agreed by Democrat and Republican congressional leaders on Sunday added provisions to the Bush administration's original bailout plan for Wall Street, insisting that the funds be disbursed in stages, with half of the money subject to a review by Congress.

"This plan sends a strong signal to markets around the world that the United States is serious about restoring confidence and stability to our financial system. Without this rescue plan, the costs to the American economy could be disastrous," Bush said in a written statement on Sunday.

The House of Representatives will vote on the bill later on Monday, and the Senate is likely to vote by Wednesday.

The economic stabilization plan, the largest in the country's history, would enable the U.S. administration to buy devalued mortgage-related assets held by struggling financial companies and banks.

The plan, designed to prevent the financial crisis from spreading to the entire U.S. economy, was prepared after a wave of defaults among U.S. financial institutions, including the bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and the government's $85 billion bailout of insurance giant AIG.

Bush voiced his support for the new amendments to the plan, saying: "This is a difficult vote, but with the improvements made to the bill, I am confident Congress will do what is best for our economy by approving this legislation promptly."


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