No Second Stimulus From Bush

"I don't think there is any chance of a second stimulus package at the end of this administration in the days that we have remaining," White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto told reporters this morning, reports CBS News' Mark Knoller. Fratto acknowledged the need for an economic push but said responsibility lies with the incoming Obama administration.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
"Our concern with the article yesterday was that it had a narrow focus and that was to simply blame the housing crisis and the resulting financial crisis on this administration's push for home ownership," Fratto also said of the New York Times' story Sunday which linked Bush policies to the housing crisis. He added "that is about as myopic as you can get and as unsophisticated as you can get."

The White House did not parse words in a reaction to the story released yesterday by press secretary Dana Perino, which read, "today's front-page New York Times story relies on hindsight with blinders on and one eye closed. The Times' 'reporting' in this story amounted to finding selected quotes to support a story the reporters fully intended to write from the onset, while disregarding anything that didn't fit their point of view."

Asked when and if the White House will ask Congress to release the second $350 dollars in TARP funds, Fratto said "it's possible that this administration could ask for" the money. "The president will make a decision based on what the needs of the program and what he is hearing from Secretary Paulson...It is clear from the auto loan announcement on Friday that additional funds for TARP will be needed as early as February," he added.

Fratto would not say whether President Bush will speak to reporters before leaving office, Knoller reports. He said there is nothing on the schedule at this point.
  • Michelle Levi

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