US President Barack Obama has urged Congress to move swiftly to pass an economic stimulus package before the current financial crisis worsens. He spoke during his first press conference since taking office.
He said a failure to act could prolong the recession, which he labelled the worst economic emergency since the Great Depression. “With the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life.” President Obama said. “If you delay acting then you potentially create a negative spiral that become much more difficult for us to get out of.” Obama said the government would work to return private capital to the banking system and would help make banks more attractive by cleansing their balance sheets. “We are going to have to work with the banks in an effective way to clean up their balance sheets so some trust is restored in the marketplace.” The Senate has set up a vote on the economic stimulus package on Tuesday. If it passes, lawmakers still have to combine it with the bill passed by the House. It’s not known if Congress can deliver the final bill to Obama by his deadline this weekend.