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Bush appreciates bailout effort

President George W. Bush places calls to Congressional members during the ongoing negotiations on the financial rescue package from the Oval Office in Washington on September 26, 2008. (UPI Photo/Eric Draper/White House)
1 of 6 | President George W. Bush places calls to Congressional members during the ongoing negotiations on the financial rescue package from the Oval Office in Washington on September 26, 2008. (UPI Photo/Eric Draper/White House) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- President George W. Bush said Sunday he appreciates the bipartisan effort on a deal to straighten out the financial mess that threatens the U.S. economy.

Congressional leaders worked into the early-morning hours to craft a tentative agreement aimed at bailing out the financial market giants that teeter on the verge of collapse without up to $700 billion in American taxpayer help.

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"This bill provides the necessary tools and funding to help protect our economy against a system-wide breakdown," Bush said in a statement released by the White House. "The bill will help allow access to credit so American families can meet their daily needs and American businesses can make purchases, ship goods and meet their payrolls."

Bush said the proposed rescue 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."

Failure to push through the corporate rescue plan "could be disastrous" for the U.S. economy, he said.

Bush expressed confidence that Congress would approve the measure "promptly."

Following a lengthy meeting of House Republicans late Sunday, House Minority Leader John Boehner said party leaders did not know how many Republicans intend to vote for the measure in the House.

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"We've made it pretty clear to our members that we are supporting this bill," he said.

Boehner said negotiations had "reduced the amount of taxpayer risk in this bill considerably."

"And so today there are no taxpayer funds at risk here," he said.

The bill calls for U.S. taxpayers to purchase billions of dollars worth of "toxic" mortgage-backed derivative securities held by Wall Street firms at the heart of the financial crisis, with a goal of reselling them at a profit at a later date.

"We sent a message to Wall Street -- the party is over," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Sunday afternoon in a news conference to discuss details of the agreement.

Billionaire U.S. investor Warren Buffett told financial bailout negotiators the country faced the "biggest financial meltdown" in its history, sources say. Citing unnamed sources, CNN reported Buffett delivered the dire warning Saturday by telephone after congressional negotiators asked for his opinion.

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