Pelosi: At News Conference This Morning, President Should Agree to Work with Congress to Help the American Economy

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today in advance of a news conference the President will hold this morning on the economy:

“The American economy is in perilous condition.   American families and businesses are stretched.  We didn’t get here overnight–and we won’t recover overnight.  Our Recovery Rebates, going out to Americans this week and beyond, are a strong start. But they are not enough.

“We have seen years of neglect to our economic condition: the failure to have a national energy policy; looking the other way on the housing bubble; tax policies that have increased the gap between the rich and the poor; a failure to invest in education, worker retraining, and infrastructure; allowing our manufacturing base to overseas; the failure to expand affordable health care–putting American companies at a competitive disadvantage.  Added to all this is the immense toll of the war in Iraq, where we will spend more than a trillion dollars. Now, with less than a year remaining in his Administration, the President is demanding immediate action.

“The President can take three actions today to help our economy:  lower gas prices by halting deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; save 116,000 green jobs and create hundreds of thousands more by dropping his veto threat from House legislation creating tax credits for renewable energy; and come to the table to help pass major reforms to our home lending industry which allow Americans at risk of foreclosure to affordably refinance, and to stabilize neighborhoods in foreclosure crisis.

“Congress will send the President legislation shortly to ensure American college and university students have access to affordable student loans–as the credit crunch limits such loans.  The President should act immediately.

“For weeks now, Democrats have asked for the White House to sit down with us and find consensus on how to help the American economy and American families–before another trade deal is ratified.  We renew that call today.”