U.S. President George Bush says lawmakers must move quickly to bail-out
troubled financial firms that threaten to stall the U.S. economy. VOA White
House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, opponents of the plan criticize both
its cost and government intervention in the private sector.
Facing opposition from lawmakers in his own
political party, President Bush says he is confident that Republicans and
Democrats will rise to the occasion and come together on a substantial rescue
"There are disagreements over aspects of the rescue plan," he
noted. "But there is no disagreement that something substantial must be done.
The legislative process is sometimes not very pretty, but we are going to get a
President Bush wants Congress to spend as much as $700
billion to buy up mortgage-backed securities that are making banks reluctant to
lend money to businesses and consumers. That lack of credit threatens to stall
the U.S. economy.
Mr. Bush says the government would hold those
securities until markets recover then resell them to recoup some of the taxpayer
money spent on the bail-out.
That rescue plan is being held up by
Republicans in the House of Representatives who say it amounts to a government
take-over of private firms. They want an expanded insurance system to cover
failing mortgage-backed securities.
The breakdown in talks over the deal
came hours after President Bush met Thursday with congressional leaders and the
presidential candidates Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John
Democrats blame McCain for inserting presidential politics into
the process after he suspended his campaign and returned to Washington for talks
on the bail-out. McCain says there are legitimate concerns about the plan's
The breakdown in talks on the financial bailout comes as the
investment bank J.P. Morgan purchased the assets of Washington Mutual Bank in
the largest bank failure in American history.
Federal regulators took
control of Washington Mutual as the bank faced collapse under the weight of
billions of dollars of debt from selling risky sub-prime mortgages to homeowners
who later defaulted.