CBNNews.com -- President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to pass an economic rescue plan. In is week's Democratic weekly radio address, he said if the measure doesn't pass next week, he will make it his first order of business as President.
In addition to his weekly radio address, he is releasing a video version on YouTube as well. Obama plans to continue the videos after he takes the oath of office in January.
Watch both Obama's address and President Bush's address by clicking the play button on the media player. Read their transcripts below.
President -elect Barack Obama: Today, the leaders of the G-20 nations - a group that includes the world's largest economies - are gathering in Washington to seek solutions to the ongoing turmoil in our financial markets.
I'm glad President Bush has initiated this process because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response. And yet, as we act in concert with other nations, we must also act immediately here at home to address America's own economic crisis. This week, amid continued volatility in our markets, we learned that unemployment insurance claims rose to their highest levels since September 11, 2001. We've lost jobs for ten straight months - nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, many of them in our struggling auto industry. And millions of our fellow citizens lie awake each night wondering how they're going to pay their bills, stay in their homes, and save for retirement. Make no mistake: this is the greatest economic challenge of our times.
And while the road ahead will be long, and the work will be hard, I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis - because here in America we always rise to the moment, no matter how hard. And I am more hopeful than ever that America will rise once again. But we must act right now. Next week, Congress will meet to address the spreading impact of the economic crisis.
I urge them to pass at least a down-payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families, and help get the economy growing again. In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year. If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as President. Even as we dig ourselves out of this recession, we must also recognize that out of this economic crisis comes an opportunity to create new jobs, strengthen our middle class, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century.
That starts with the kinds of long-term investments that we've neglected for too long. That means putting two million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools. It means investing $150 billion to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing our nation from the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children.
It means making health care affordable for anyone who has it, accessible for anyone who wants it, and reducing costs for small businesses. And it also means giving every child the world-class education they need to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world. Doing all this will require not just new policies, but a new spirit of service and sacrifice, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.
If this financial crisis has taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. And that's how we will meet the challenges of this time - together.
President George W. Bush: Good morning. This weekend I am hosting a summit on the global financial crisis with leaders of developed and developing nations.
By working together, I'm confident that with time we can overcome this crisis and return our economies to the path of growth and vitality. I know many of you listening are worried about the challenges facing our economy.
Stock market declines have eroded the value of retirement accounts and pension funds. The tightening of credit has made it harder for families to borrow money for cars, homes, and education. Businesses have found it harder to get loans to expand their operations and create jobs. Many nations
have suffered job losses and have serious concerns about the worsening economy. Nations around the world have responded to this situation with bold measures , and our actions are having an impact. Credit markets are beginning to thaw and businesses are gaining access to essential short-term financing.
It will require more time for these improvements to fully take hold and there will be more difficult days ahead, but the United States and our partners are taking the right steps to get through the crisis. As we address the current crisis, we also need to make broader reforms to adapt our financial systems to the 21st century.
So during this summit, I will work with other leaders to establish principles for reform, such as making markets more transparent and ensuring that markets, firms, and financial products are properly regulated. All these steps will require decisive actions from governments around the world. At the same time, we must recognize that government intervention is not a cure-all. While reforms in the financial sector are essential, the long-term solution to today's problems is sustained economic growth. And the
surest path to that growth is free markets and free people.
This is a decisive moment for the global economy. In the wake of the financial crisis voices from the left and right are equating the free enterprise system with greed, exploitation, and failure. It is true that this crisis included failures by lenders and borrowers, by financial firms, by governments and independent regulators. But the crisis was not a failure of the free market system.
And the answer is not to try to reinvent that system. It is to fix the problems we face, make the reforms we need, and move forward with the free market principles that have delivered prosperity and hope to people around the world. The benefits of free market capitalism have been proven across time, geography, and culture. Around the world free market capitalism has allowed once impoverished nations to develop large and prosperous economies.
And here at home, free market capitalism is what transformed America from a rugged frontier to the greatest economic power in history. Just as important as maintaining free markets within countries is maintaining the free movement of goods and services between countries. There are many ways for nations to demonstrate their commitment to open markets. The United States Congress can take the lead by approving free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea before adjourning for the year.
In the long run, Americans can be confident in the future of our economy. We will work with our partners around the world to address the problems in the global financial system. We will strengthen our economy. And we will continue to lead the world toward prosperity and peace.
Thank you for listening.