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Senate committee blasts Bush bailout plan

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-12-10

The $700bn economic rescue plan presented by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is "not acceptable" in its current state, the head of the Senate Banking Committee said on Tuesday, calling for further safeguards to protect US taxpayers.

The government economic rescue plan presented by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is "not acceptable" in its current state, Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd said Tuesday.

"A lot of reservations have been expressed this morning by Democrats and Republicans on this matter," said Dodd, a Democrat, speaking to reporters after Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke testified in Congress.

"What they have sent to us, this is not acceptable," said Dodd. "This is not going to work."

"They're going to have to come back and work with us," said Dodd.

The ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, Senator Richard Shelby, seemed to agree with Dodd.

"I have a lot of concern with the proposal," said Shelby. "Seven hundred billion dollars is a lot of money to me, it's a lot of money for taxpayers."

Bernanke and Paulson pressed Congress on Tuesday to urgently pass a 700-billion-dollar Wall Street bailout, warning the entire US economy was at risk.

Bernanke told lawmakers that despite unprecedented steps already taken by the Republican administration to confront the crisis, global financial markets "remain under extraordinary stress."

Democratic congressional leaders and some Republican colleagues have insisted the bailout, crafted by Paulson, a former Goldman Sachs president, include sweeping safeguards and oversight to protect US taxpayers.


Date created : 2008-09-23