US Congress approves massive economic bailout package

US Congress approves massive economic bailout package

US Congress approves massive economic bailout package

Updated 19 December 2011, 15:12 AEDT

The US Congress has approved an unprecedented taxpayer funded bailout of the battered American financial industry.

Our Washington correspondent, Kim Landers, reports after two weeks of trying to convince reluctant politicians to back the bill, President George W Bush says he is pleased it has been passed the US House and Senate.

But he warns the $US700 billion dollar rescue package is not a quick fix.

"It'll take more time and determined effort to get through this difficult period," he said.

"We'll overcome the challenges we face, return our nation to a path of growth, and job creation and long term economic prosperity".

In the short term he says the rescue plan will help prevent the crisis on Wall Street from spreading across America.

Negative market reaction

The passage of the rescue bill, however, was not enough to stop another sharp fall on the US Stock Market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than three hundred points before the house vote.

But once the bailout was approved stocks began to sink.

The Dow closed 157 points weaker while the S and P 500 had its lowest finish in nearly four years.

Traders are still anxious the rescue package won't be enough to resuscitate the US financial system.

There are also renewed fears America is slipping into a recession.

Nearly 160 000 Americans lost their job last month.

It was the biggest monthly jobs drop in more than five years.