US President Barack Obama has urged Congress to approve an economic stimulus bill designed to boost the country’s flailing economy. The Democratic dominated Senate has already passed the 650 billion euro package. Now tough negotiations will be needed to reconcile it with the House of Representatives’ version. The bill came as the US treasury secretary unveiled a bank bail-out plan worth some 1.2 trillion euros.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Florida, Obama has said he wants the final version by the February 16. President Obama said: “Now, I’m not going to tell you that this plan is perfect it was produced in Washington. But I can tell you with complete confidence that a failure to act in the face of this crisis will only worsen our problems.” The bailout bill is important for the new president who took office just three weeks ago. Republicans claim it has not included enough tax cuts. The Florida trip was the second stop on a road trip in which Obama is selling his package directly to Americans. Meanwhile analysts are sceptical about whether or not the bill will boost weak financial markets. “I think it’s going to take some time,” said Sam Stovall, analyst at Standard and Poors. “You could almost say that February is pretty much gone. A lot of the money that will be put into the economy really won’t be felt until after the recession has ended in our opinion.” Wall Street has reacted badly to the plan, tumbling over uncertainty due to a lack of detail in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s speech earlier in the day. Financial companies, the intended beneficiaries in the plan led the fall, with every stock in the Dow Jones industrial average ending in the red.