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Special> Global Financial Crisis> Latest
UPDATED: November 8, 2008  
Obama Wows to Address Economic Crisis After Inauguration
Citing statistics, Obama warned the country is "facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime"

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama vowed to address economic crisis after inauguration on Friday at his first press conference after he won the presidential elections, with his economic advisors and chief of staff at presence.

"Immediately after I become president I will confront this economic crisis head-on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help hardworking families, and restore growth and prosperity," Obama said at the press conference in Chicago after meeting with 17-member economic advisory team.

"America is a strong and resilient country, I know we will succeed if we put aside partisanship and politics, and work as one nation," he said.

Citing statistics, Obama warned the country is "facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime" with 240,000 jobs lost in October and nearly 1.2 million jobs cut this year, and tens of millions of families struggling to figure out how to pay the bills and stay in their homes.

He noted that a rescue plan for the middle class tops all priorities that can create jobs and provide relief to families, and urged a stimulus package to be passed "sooner rather than later."

"If it does not get done in a lame-duck session (of Congress), it would be the first thing I get done after I become the president of the United States," he said.

Those which were also mentioned as priorities included further expansion of unemployment benefit and working out policy options to help auto industry adjust, "the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

Obama said that he was also planning to review the implementation of the current financial program to ensure it is stabilizing financial markets, protecting taxpayers and helping homeowners.

While addressing immediate economic challenges, the transitional government should move forward with long-term policies to "grow our middle class and strengthen our economy."

"We cannot afford to wait on moving forward on the key priorities that I identified during the campaign, including clean energy, health care, education, and tax relief for middle-class families."

When asked whether Obama would announce his cabinet members, he said that although the issue is equally as important as economy, he was not be so rushed on the decision and would roll out the list next week.

On his first meeting with current president, George W. Bush, at the White House on Monday, Obama said that he was not going to anticipate problems but to seek partnership since the immediate priority is to make economy work.

To add some humor to the first public appearance as the president-elect, Obama responded with a joke to a reporter's question about the dog the future first family is to bring to the White House.

"With respect to the dog, this is a major issue. I think it has generated more interest on our website than just about anything," Obama said, adding that he was looking for a dog that is a hypoallergenic breed producing fewer allergic reactions, and from an animal shelter, where dog are often mixed-breeds.

(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2008)

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