Democrats have demands for bailout

September 20, 2008 8:15:16 PM PDT
Using tax payer dollars to bail out financial institutions has some lawmakers asking what the American people get out of all this and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was quick to react. It looks like the democrats are working up a list of demands.

The House speaker said it sounds like there is a fight brewing on Capitol Hill. The president said on Saturday morning that he wants a clean bill without a lot of conditions attached, but the democratic leadership has a wish list of its own.

"The American people are feeling the pain, they need help. And now you're asking for a bailout. Don't even think about it unless you're helping the American People," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

That was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's message to the administration on Saturday, after she received the huge bailout proposal from President Bush, who's asking for swift congressional action.

"There will be ample opportunity to debate the origins of this problem. Now is the time to solve it," said President Bush.

But democrats are saying 'Not so fast.'

"So we're saying, if you need this big bailout, we need a big jobs initiative," said Pelosi.

Some other items on her wish list: expansion of unemployment insurance, more money for food stamps and heating assistance, and an expansion of healthcare.

"We can't even think of taking a bill to our members unless we see something in there for the American people," said Pelosi.

Thoughts echoed on the other side of the bay on Saturday from Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D) of Oakland.

"Clearly, people who are losing their jobs, losing their pension funds, have no health care, need to have an assurance that we're not only going to bail out Wall Street, but out Main Street," said Lee.

And Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor for President Clinton says there needs to be more regulation on the markets.

"What we need now is to rewrite the rules, new regulations, tough regulations for disclosure, for minimum capitol requirements to avoid conflicts of interest, to avoid market manipulations," said Reich.

But former Federal economist Jim Wilcox from Haas School of Business, says now is not the time to get bogged down with policy.

"Effectively, we've got a fire in the financial family room. We need to take care of the fire first. You can worry about the water damage from putting the fire out, later," said Wilcox.

Wilcox says financial reform will be the first big challenge for the next administration. Debate on this proposal is set to begin on Capitol Hill Monday morning.


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