- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2008

President Bush on Monday morning said that he does not want Democrats in Congress to add a host of amendments to his administration’s $700 billion plan to buy up bad debt as a means to stabilizing the stock market.

“It would not be understandable if members of Congress sought to use this emergency legislation to pass unrelated provisions, or to insist on provisions that would undermine the effectiveness of the plan,” Bush said in a statement.

The president did not name specific provisions, but Democratic congressional leaders have resisted the White House’s calls for a “clean” passage of the economic plan, saying that there are not enough measures included to protect average citizens on “Main Street.”

Treasury to work with homeowners in bailout

Democrats: Bailout support is costly

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, vowed late Sunday to push for an independent oversight board for the Treasury bailout effort, as well as protections for homeowners facing foreclosure and new restrictions on lucrative Wall Street executive salaries.

“We will not simply hand over a $700 billion blank check to Wall Street and hope for a better outcome,” Pelosi said.

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. has agreed to both those provisions. But other Democrats continue to talk of other add-ons.

Staffers from key congressional committees met over the weekend met with officials from the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve.

The president said they made “good headway” and that “obviously, there will be differences over some details, and we will have to work through them.”

But the White House does not want to see the cost of the already enormous package to balloon even further.

“The whole world is watching to see if we can act quickly to shore up our markets,” Mr. Bush said. “Failure to act would have broad consequences far beyond Wall Street. It would threaten small business owners and homeowners on Main Street.”

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