Companies, professional groups urge Congress to pass rescue plan

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) today called on the leaders of Congress to resume work on a bipartisan financial rescue plan to address the severe credit crunch that threatens the stability of the economy and the housing market in particular.

“The failure to pass a bipartisan rescue plan yesterday sent Wall Street into a tailspin that will reach all the way to Main Street,” said NLBMDA president and CEO Michael O’Brien. “We are calling on Congress to get back to work and to not adjourn until a plan is put in place.”

Liquidity in the market and access to credit are essential to reviving the housing market and strengthening small businesses.  Failure to enact a rescue plan will lead to further destabilization of the markets and the housing economy.

“Resuming negotiations is the only responsible course of action, and we call on our Congressional leaders to act swiftly,” O’Brien said.

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser joined the chorus of professional voices urging Congress to take action on the issue.

In a statement, Weyerhaeuser president and CEO Dan Fulton said: “Weyerhaeuser urges members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to support legislation that will re-instill confidence and stability in the financial markets. The current tight credit market is a significant barrier to functioning capital markets, new home construction and capital-intensive businesses,” he said.

“This further aggravates the impacts of the already depressed housing market, which is a significant market for Weyerhaeuser -- from timberlands and residential wood products businesses to our home-building companies. The ability to grow all of our businesses, including cellulose fibers, requires access to a healthy banking system in order to promote economic growth. Passage of legislation is vital to the health and preservation of jobs in all sectors of the economy of the states in which we operate and the nation. We urge Congress to act swiftly.”

The National Association of Home Builders, a group that has been pushing for a number of housing and mortgage market legislative issues over the past year, also chimed in.

During its board of directors meeting in San Diego, the leadership of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) unanimously “called on Congress to act now before conditions deteriorate to a point that could trigger a global financial meltdown,” according to a statement.

“We agree with Fed Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson that immediate steps need to be taken to stem the financial crisis. The financial markets are in turmoil, and the flow of credit has been severely curtailed for housing and other sectors of the economy,” said NAHB president Sandy Dunn. “There’s no time to waste. Congress must pass legislation as soon as possible.”

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