Washington Considers 2nd Stimulus

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WASHINGTON - As the challenges gripping the economy continue to grow, so does support on Capitol Hill for a new stimulus package to revive the economy with another jolt.

"When the economy is in bad shape, you can't just be an ideologue and stay on the sideline. The last President who did that was Herbert Hoover and that helped cause the depression." Sen. Charles Schumer said.

Would a second stimulus package be a wise move - or a waste of money? Click play to hear Pat Robertson's comments following this CBN News report.

While Democrats have been pushing for more steps to jump-start the economy, the Bush administration was opposed. But now, The White House says President Bush is open to the idea.

The change in heart came after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke endorsed the idea when he testified before Congress Monday.

"With the economy likely to be weak for several quarters with some risks of a protracted slowdown, consideration of a fiscal package seems appropriate," Bernanke said.

Bernanke didn't set a price tag or endorse a specific plan, but congressional leaders say the next package will likely match or exceed the $168 billion stimulus package passed in February.

It included $600 tax rebates for most individuals and tax breaks for businesses.

Democrats say they could return right after the elections to work on the new package.

But this time around, they want the bill to set aside money for building projects on roads and bridges, money to extend unemployment benefits by several weeks, and to aid cash-strapped states and local governments.

That's good news for the majority of states, which some economists believe are in or near recession.

Meanwhile, the credit markets are still gradually easing up and that helped send stocks on Wall Street higher, Monday.

"You know, the market is a lot less predictable than the weather, right, but its gone down so far , that it only looks like - up from here," one man said.

Lending between banks also has been improving over the last week with the government's recent steps to intervene and shore up America's struggling financial system.

But unfreezing the credit markets may take some time. And Washington may try another stimulus in the meantime, until loans start flowing again.

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