President Bush today reviewed a number of economic and legislative policy issues with his Cabinet. The President emphasized that the economy is emerging from the recession. The President said he was told by a number of business leaders this morning that the recovery is underway, but it requires nurturing.
The index of leading economic indicators, for the last 7 months, has forecast growth in the economy. Housing starts and industrial production have been increasing for 5 months, and inflation is down and declining. In addition, interest rates, both short-term and long-term, are at their lowest levels in years.
The President applauded efforts to hold down unnecessary regulations that can have the effect of limiting the creation of new jobs and urged a redoubling of efforts to do so. He also expressed concern about the availability of credit for small businesses which have historically created most of the new jobs in the country.
The President and his Cabinet reviewed the major pieces of domestic legislation now before the Congress. The President emphasized that he would support the extension of unemployment benefits in a bill proposed by Senator Robert Dole.
The President also heard reports from his Cabinet on the crime bill, the comprehensive banking reform legislation, the national energy strategy legislation, the Surface Transportation Act, and a number of child health care programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.