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Bush Delivers National Address On Financial Situation, Provides Plan To Fix Economy

This story was written by Derek Medlin, Technician

President Bush addressed the nation Wednesday night, speaking on the economy and the proposed $700 billion buyout of Wall Street financial institutions that Bush said would stabilize the crisis.

Bush said America is in the midst of a "serious financial crisis" that has the stability of the "entire economy in danger."

Bush said the current economic crisis results from years of unchecked lending by financial institutions across the country. He said problems arose from too many people receiving loans.

Bush said the housing market and its problems are the most crucial reason for the nation's economic downturn. When the amount of new homes exceeded the demand, prices fell and mortgage holders began to default on home loans, sending the economy into a tailspin.

Bush's current plan, if approved by Congress, could give American financial institutions up to $700 billion to keep credit flowing to Americans and allow banks to remain open.

Bush said the plan will allow money to reach lenders and preserve the integrity of the economic system.

Despite his instinct to not push government involvement in the financial crisis, Bush said the abnormal circumstances made him re-think his beliefs and back the buyout proposal he made on Friday.

Bush warned that without the help of the buyout, which would be funded by taxpayer dollars, America could "slip into financial panic" and find itself in a "long, painful recession."

Sen. John McCain announced Wednesday he would temporarily suspend his campaign to return to Washington, D.C. to help Congress deal with the economic crisis.

As part of his announcement, McCain said he would not attend a debate scheduled for Friday between himself and Sen. Barack Obama in Oxford, Miss.

Ches McDowell, a North Carolina State University freshman in political science and chair of College Republicans, said McCain is doing what he should do to help the country.

"The right thing to do is get back to Washington and do something," he said. "Our country is facing a crisis and we need people making laws and fixing things. Illinois deserves to have Sen. Obama in Washington just like Arizona deserves to have Sen. McCain in Washington."

Drew Wall, a senior in history education and organizer for Students for Obama, said McCain is returning to Washington to do nothing more than advance his political agenda.

"McCain's announcement in clearly political," Wall said. "It's not because of the economic situation. McCain isn't looking out for American taxpayers. He is trying to do this to save his presidential run."

In response to McCain on Wednesday, Obama said he would attend the debate scheduled to take place at the University of Mississippi.

Bush invited both McCain and Obama to attend a meeting at the White House Thursday to discuss the economic situation. Other Congressional leaders will also likely be in attendance.

McDowell said the economic crisis will be resolved if the bailout proposal is approved by Congress.

"We have the strongest economy in the world and the strongest nation in the world," he said. "This is just a blip. It will just take some time to recover."

Wall said Bush's lack of action during the last year made the proposed bailout a necessary evil.

"The economy has been in a downturn for more than a year," he said. "It's time now for the government to step in and bail out the market. It's a shame it had to come to this before the president decided to act."