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Cheney To GOP: Problem "dire"

Echoing the warnings Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered to lawmakers last week, Vice President Dick Cheney warned House Republicans during their closed-door session Tuesday morning that the financial troubles are "dire," according to one person in the room.

Cheney, a former vote-counter in the House, told Republicans that failure to grant Treasury enormous new authority could result in much deeper economic woes. A Federal Reserve official appearing with the vice president told the crowd of GOP lawmakers that if Congress fails to act quickly the U.S. economy will go into a deep recession that could take years to overcome.

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