- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, says she is open to additional government rescue money for banks and financial institutions, but she is demanding that taxpayers get an ownership stake in return.

She did not name a dollar figure in a television interview broadcast Sunday, and she did not use the term “nationalization” when referring to additional rescue dollars.

She said that if the government puts more money into struggling banks, then an ownership stake would be sought.

Already $350 billion has gone out to banks and financial institutions — and the second $350 billion installment is now in the hands of the new Obama administration, which is promising tougher standards on how the money is used.

Mrs. Pelosi also defended the Democratic plan to revive the economy and says Republican proposals will be judged by how well they create jobs.

Republicans are seeking tax help for small businesses and for some home buyers, and lowering some income tax rates.

Mrs. Pelosi says such ideas will be judged by their ability to create jobs, their cost and their ability to help turn around the economy.

President Obama plans to meet with Republicans this week on the stimulus plan. The House could vote on the $825 billion proposal after that meeting at the Capitol.

Mrs. Pelosi described the economy as “dark, darker, darkest almost.” She says Democrats have listened to economists and believe that new spending will create more jobs than would tax cuts.

Mrs. Pelosi spoke on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

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