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Bush transcript on the economy

Bush wants Congress to enact an energy plan that he says will lower costs and create jobs.
Bush wants Congress to enact an energy plan that he says will lower costs and create jobs.  

President Bush met with congressional leaders Friday to discuss August's economic unemployment numbers. The following is a transcript of his comments from the White House Rose Garden.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm visiting with the speaker and the leader. It's the end of a long week of discussing how to make sure our economy begins to grow again. I want to appreciate Denny (Hastert) and Trent (Lott) for coming down again. They've been visiting with their members and I've been visiting with them and their members.

I also had a good discussion today with Minority Leader Gephardt, and of course the Senate Majority Leader Daschle the other day as well, about how we can kind of get away from all the distractions that tend to dominate Washington and focus on a pro-growth agenda for this fall.

The unemployment numbers today are evidence that I've seen first- hand as I travel the country, and that is too many people are losing their jobs as a result of a slowdown that began when Dick and I were campaigning across our country last summer. The slowdown is real and it's affecting too many lives. And we're concerned about it.

Any American out of work is too many Americans out of work. And that's why it's absolutely essential that we work together to put a growth plan in place to create jobs for hard-working Americans. It starts with having a responsible budget that meets our nation's obligations, without affecting Social Security or dipping into Social Security. We made a great step toward economic growth when we worked together to pass tax relief. One-half of the checks have gone out and more relief is on the way this fall, which should help our economy.

Beginning January 1, Americans will see lower tax rates, lower withholding from their paychecks and a larger tax credit. Tax relief is just now making its way in the economy, and there are some it seems like who are beginning to say maybe we ought to raise taxes. But I can assure you, the four of us on this stage are not going to let anybody pick the pockets of the American taxpayer.

To help get our economy moving again, Congress needs to enact an energy plan which will lower energy costs and create jobs. To get the economy moving again, Congress needs to enact trade promotion authority so we can open up new markets for American products. We've got a plan to get our economy moving, so Americans can find work.

And today I want to thank the leadership of the Congress from the Republican side that came and strategized with the vice president and me, as to how to get this plan moving. I want the American people to know we're deeply concerned about the unemployment rates, and we intend to do something about it.

Thank you all very much.

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