Washington - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval to the rescue plan meant to respond to the current economic crisis. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Banking Committee, voted in favor of the plan in the Senate on Wednesday, and today he released the following statement:

"This was not about Wall Street, it was about keeping small businesses running, keeping people in their jobs, and making sure loans for a car, an education or a home are available. Nobody in Congress is happy about the dismal position our economy is in or the distasteful choices that we have been forced to make, but doing nothing was not an option. We were able to turn the Bush administration's original unacceptable blank check for Wall Street into a plan that focuses on middle class taxpayers. The economy will not be revived overnight, but it now has the opportunity to stay afloat and avoid a catastrophic Main Street meltdown, paving the way for recovery.

"We must now look toward the policies that will prevent another meltdown and help spur the economy. Those will include new regulations to institute accountability in our financial systems. We also need a new economic stimulus package, which I believe should include support for small businesses, ready-to-go infrastructure projects and an unemployment insurance extension, to help create new jobs and give a hand to those who have recently lost jobs. I will continue to pressure for these additional and necessary actions."

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