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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Debate over Bush Proposal For Stimulus Package

Aired October 4, 2001 - 06:10   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Congress also has to consider a massive economic stimulus package proposed by the Bush administration. The president wants Congress to approve a $60 billion to $75 billion package designed to reboot the economy.

CNN White House correspondent Kelly Wallace has more on that this morning.

Morning, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol, a lot to tell you about that in one moment, but we also have some news to report. CNN has learned that President Bush, when he travels later this morning to the State Department, will unveil a $320 million humanitarian aid package to help the people of Afghanistan. Talked with senior administration official just a short time ago who says the White House definitely concerned about a humanitarian crisis in the region and that the president wants to get food to the people before winter approaches to prevent massive deaths and starvation.

Secondly, later today the president will also travel to the Labor Department. Sources saying the president expected to make some news there. We understand he's likely to talk about his ideas to help all those workers laid off since the September 11 terrorist attacks. And one proposal we understand this White House looking very closely at and that is extending the 26-week period for unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks.

Now beyond that, the president will be doing lots of coalition building today. He will be meeting with Mexico's President Vicente Fox. Again, that's an opportunity for the two leaders to talk about building this international campaign against terrorism.

And now getting back to the economy. Carol, as you noted, Mr. Bush, as he returned from New York yesterday, saw debates sort of really heating up over just what the federal government and lawmakers can do to give a kick to the economy. Mr. Bush unveiled his ideas during his visit to New York when he met with 30 of the nation's top CEOs.

What will it mean for you? Well again, the president's talking about up to $75 billion in additional economic stimulus. That means more tax cuts, more government spending. The president is looking for maybe accelerated tax cuts or maybe more rebate checks for individuals. He's also hoping to help businesses with some tax cuts or investment credits. And again, he's also looking to do something to help those directly affected by the terrorist attacks, those workers, especially, who are now out of a job.

The president saying that these terrorist attacks definitely have given a shock to the economy, but he said with a package like this, he is optimistic about the future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe we've got a fantastic opportunity to invigorate this economy and to assure the business leaders around America that the government is playing a very active role and that we will take the steps necessary to provide -- to provide growth and stimulus. And that's why I believe we need additional stimulus beyond some of the spending that we've already put in place to the tune of about $60 billion to $75 billion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: But Senate Democrats say they would support a smaller package about $50 billion. So, Carol, you see while both sides think such a package is needed, right now there's disagreement over the cost and exactly what it should include so debate likely to keep going over the next week or two.

LIN: You bet.

WALLACE: Back to you, Carol.

LIN: All right, but stock traders sure liked what they heard from the president yesterday.

WALLACE: They did.

LIN: Thanks, Kelly. Kelly Wallace reporting live from the White House this morning.

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