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Bush Seeks Opposition Support to Boost Faltering US Economy


President Bush has called on the Democratic-controlled Congress to work with his administration in creating an economic growth package to boost the U.S. economy.

Mr. Bush says the economy is fundamentally strong, but the risk of a downturn or recession is rising. He wants a stimulus package to encourage consumer spending, along with tax reductions to help businesses make larger investments and hire more people.

Administration officials say Mr. Bush's plan could cost between $140 billion and $150 billion.

The Democratic majority leader in the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid of Nevada, says he was encouraged by the president's remarks. On Thursday, Reid had expressed some disappointment regarding Mr. Bush's economic policy.

Rising energy prices, a steep downturn in housing and credit markets and other problems have made many U.S. economic forecasters pessimistic. Stock prices also have declined sharply since the New Year, worrying many Americans.

Many recent public-opinion polls show the economy is replacing the Iraq war as the top concern for voters in this election year.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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