George W. Bush photo

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Congressional Leaders

January 22, 2008

I want to thank the leaders for coming. I initially intended to brief the leaders of the House and the Senate on my trip to the Middle East, and I intend to do so. But we're going to spend some time talking about this economy and the need for us to find common ground for an effective progrowth economic package. We had a good call last Thursday, and I want to thank the Speaker and the leader and other Members. And Secretary Paulson had a good meeting today.

I believe we can find common ground to get something done that's big enough and effective enough so that an economy that is inherently strong gets a boost to make sure that this uncertainty doesn't translate into more economic woes for our workers and small-business people.

And so I really want to thank you all for coming, and I'm looking forward to our discussions. And look, there's a—everybody wants to get something done quickly, but we want to make sure it gets done right and make sure that we're—everybody is realistic about a—the timetable. Legislative bodies don't move as—necessarily in an orderly, quick way. And therefore, these leaders are committed, and they want to get something done. But we want to make sure we're realistic about how fast that can possibly happen. And so when we say, "as soon as possible," that means within the—obviously within the ability of these bodies to effectively do their jobs.

So I have got reasonable expectations about how fast something can happen, but I also am optimistic that something will happen. And I appreciate very much the leadership being here today. Thank you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:43 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

George W. Bush, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Congressional Leaders Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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