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US Chamber of Commerce hails passage of financial bailout plan
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U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday hailed the congressional approval of a historic financial bailout plan, saying the move will "avert an economic meltdown."

"With the American economy on life support, Congress took the necessary step to stop the bleeding," said the Chamber's Executive Vice President of Government Affairs R. Bruce Josten in a statement.

"Today's bipartisan vote in the House is a major step toward stabilizing the credit markets and supporting Main Street businesses," he said.

"Every day there was a delay in shoring up our financial markets, Americans saw their investments plummet. Over the past few days, uncertainty and turmoil have dramatically affected markets and lowered equity prices, eroded individual savings, and destroyed household wealth," he stated.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations, also thanked U.S. leadership for their efforts on the rescue package.

"We have seen responsible leadership today that puts the national interest first to help avert a catastrophic meltdown of our economy," said the statement.

The 700 billion dollar bailout package was passed by a vote of 263-171 in the House, a comfortable margin that was 58 more votes than the measure garnered in Monday's stunning defeat.

Monday's vote sent markets plunging around the globe and forced the Bush Administration and congressional leadership to scramble and salvage the rescue plan. The Senate passed the new version Wednesday on a bipartisan vote of 74-25.

After Monday's defeat, the Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to members of Congress immediately, warning them not to adjourn until it passes legislation to stabilize the market.

"Today's failure to approve legislation addressing the financial crisis has resulted in uncertainty and turmoil that have dramatically affected the markets and lowered equity prices, eroding individual savings and destroying billions of dollars of household wealth," wrote Bruce Josten on Monday, the chamber's top lobbyist.

"Make no mistake," said the letter, warning when the aftermath of congressional inaction becomes clear, "Americans will not tolerate those who stood by and let the calamity happen."

(Xinhua News Agency October 4, 2008)

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