( AP )- With recession fears rising and the stock market tumbling, President Bush on Friday called for up to $150 billion in tax relief for consumers and business - and said there was no time to waste.
Bush's urgent remarks gave fresh impetus to congressional leaders already hard at work on an economic rescue package that would include extra money for food stamps and jobless benefits in addition to tax rebates of hundreds of dollars each for millions of Americans. The hope is that people would immediately spend those rebates and give the economy a badly needed boost.
"I believe we can come together on a growth package very quickly, and we're going to need to," Bush said.
Wall Street remained skeptical. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 59.91 points after plummeting 306 points a day earlier.
Bush said the rescue effort should be both quick and temporary, a one-time boost for a national economy that is in danger of sliding into the first recession since 2001 if it hasn't already edged across that line. The president's tone was somber in his remarks at the White House, but his mood was upbeat later in the day when he visited a factory to underscore his focus on the economy.