Economic Leaders on Capitol Hill

September 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The money crisis is taking center stage on Capitol Hill as the government comes to the rescue.The Federal Reserve dumped another $30-billion dollars into overseas money markets overnight to fight a global credit crisis. The chairman of the fed and the secretary of the treasury will be back before congress today, to face lawmakers about their financial bailout proposal.

On Capitol Hill Tuesday, the nation's top economic leaders warned the consequences would be dire if their $700-billion dollar bailout was not passed.

"Jobs will be lost. The unemployment rate will rise. More houses will be foreclosed upon. GDP will contract. The economy will just not be able to recover in a normal healthy way," said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

But lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were not convinced.

"Why do we have one week to determine $700 billion that has to be appropriated or this country's financial system will go down the pipes?" asked Senator Jon Tester (D) Montana.

"We're not going to give you a blank check. There will be oversight," said Senator Mel Marinez (R) Florida.

"I accept it and I understand it. I welcome it," responded Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Congress is not alone in paying attention to the fine print. In the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, 53-percent of registered voters say the economy is their top priority; a topic that worries an overwhelming 82-percent of them. And the candidates are listening.

Both Barack Obama and John McCain cited their concerns over the bailout. Each saying he would not support it without certain concessions on oversight and executive pay.

But it's McCain's vote that may count the most. Without his support, both sides said the bill won't pass. Neither party wants to be on the hook for such a pricey taxpayer bailout.


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