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Greenspan Gets Bush's Blessing

President Bush said Tuesday that Alan Greenspan should continue as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Responding to questions from economic reporters, Mr. Bush said, "Yes. I think Alan Greenspan should get another term."

Greenspan's current term expires in June of 2004. Some recent comments sparked questions about his reappointment prospects, reports CBS News Correspondent Peter Maer. He angered some Republicans earlier this year when he told Congress that no new economic stimulus was needed; he also warned of the dangers of rising deficits.

The promise of Greenspan's reappointment is likely to calm financial markets. The ailing economy is considered by White House advisers to be Mr. Bush's biggest hurdle to re-election.

Greenspan, who turned 77 in March, has been serving as Fed chairman since August 1987.

The head of the Fed is nominated by the president and the position must be confirmed by the Senate.

Mr. Bush gave his endorsement to Greenspan as the Fed chairman was preparing to undergo surgery for an enlarged prostate — a common problem for men his age. He is expected to return to work next week.

Greenspan, who was in the office on Monday, is generally considered to be in good health. The term of Fed chairman runs four years.

The Federal Reserve's next meeting to discuss interest rate policy is on May 6. Greenspan is expected to attend that meeting.

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