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Geithner hears Democrats' economic anxieties

Financial Law     updated  2009/03/11 08:46

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged House Democrats to be patient with President Barack Obama's young administration on Monday as lawmakers conveyed the frustrations of their economically anxious constituents.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., said her colleague, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., implored Geithner: "Hurry, whatever you're doing, please hurry."

Geithner addressed House Democratic members for nearly two hours Monday evening in a closed session in the Capitol. He sought to reassure them that Obama's administration has acted quickly to respond to the recession and the financial crisis.

"The members of the caucus clearly raised great concerns that the American people have about the amounts of money involved and the effectiveness of that money," House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said.

Asked whether he was reassured that the administration policies were working, Hoyer said: "Secretary Geithner indicated that he believes that what we're doing is working.

"The problem with working is that that means it's not getting worse," he added. "The boat is not taking on more water, but you haven't yet pumped it out."

Members interviewed after the session described a polite session without rancor. But they said many members reflected the political challenge they faced explaining the policies of a president of their party to a public angry over bank bailouts and an unending recession.

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