(AFP) – Nov 7, 2008
WASHINGTON (AFP) — A new stimulus package to boost the lagging US economy should come in two parts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview published in the Friday Wall Street Journal.
Pelosi, a Democrat and leader of the House of Representatives, called for the two-stage effort to involve a 60 to 100 billion dollar stimulus package in November.
The California Democrat urged Congress to work together with the White House in the last days of President George W. Bush's term to pass the measure, the second such plan after the 150 billion package was adopted in February this year.
Pelosi's call for what the Journal described as "aggressive action" shows the priorities her party is setting to turn around the global financial turmoil following president elect Barack Obama's historic victory on Tuesday.
Any measure moved by outgoing lawmakers before the new Congress takes office on January 20 would be a "down payment on additional stimulus enacted later," Pelosi told the Journal.
"Let's see if we can't do something, working together now, that gives us a two-month jump," Pelosi told the newspaper. "We'll take the longer view as soon as we take over in January."
The second stage of the Democratic stimulus agenda would include a tax cut and would be part of a bill to move in early 2009, according to the Journal.
The impact of a tax cut "is faster than a rebate, which takes a few months to get into people's hands," she told the newspaper.
The House passed a 61 billion dollar second stimulus package in October, but the measure did not make it through the Senate.
At a Thursday press conference, Pelosi said that a new stimulus package should include extensions in unemployment insurance, food assistance for impoverished Americans and healthcare assistance for seniors and children.
Obama is set to meet Friday with economic advisers in Chicago, including former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, former federal reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former treasury secretary Robert Rubin and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
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