House Speaker Pelosi calls for economic summit
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday called for a summit involving the Bush administration and bipartisan congressional leaders to work on a range of economic problems.
Noting the recent successful collaboration on an economic stimulus measure, Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said: "I am now calling on the president to once again join with us in a bipartisan ... summit on the economy so that we can address the concerns, kitchen table concerns, of America's working families."
Pelosi made her remarks at a news conference centering on the current home mortgage crisis and consumers' concerns about their jobs, and food and energy costs.
In late January and early February, Democrats and Republicans in Congress worked with the Bush administration to produce a two-year, $168 billion economic stimulus bill that has been signed into law.
Since then, as more and more people holding home mortgages have gone into default, Congress and the Bush administration have been looking at ways to contain a crisis that has rattled global markets.
Pelosi did not say whether she has gotten any sign from the White House or congressional Republicans that they were willing to participate in an economic summit.
Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said two bills to help deal with the housing crisis could be ready for House action by the end of April.
Following a two-week recess during which many lawmakers met with constituents, Pelosi said voters held "great uncertainty about the economy, about their jobs, about their homes, about the cost of food, about the cost of gasoline, how they will make ends meet."
(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Editing by Neil Stempleman)