Feinstein weighs in on financial crisis

November 26, 2008 7:36:53 PM PST
President-elect Barack Obama said "Help is on the way," on Wednesday, as he sought to assure a nervous nation about the ailing economy. To help steer him through the crisis, Mr. Obama appointed former Federal Chairman Paul Volcker to the newly-created Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which Obama said would give him "candid and unsparing" advice, but how big a recovery plan can America afford?

Senator Diane Feinstein continues to say the real issue is regulation, tighter controls on the nation's financial sector, but when ABC7 sat down on Tuesday, Mark Matthews pressed her to talk about the Treasury Secretary Paulson's latest plan to push an additional $800 billion into the struggling economy.

As Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced plans for another $800 billion to stimulate banks to lend. ABC7's Mark Matthews asked Sen. Feinstein how much more can the government can afford to give.

"Well I think we're coming to grips with this with the automobile bailout," said Feinstein.

Feinstein admits she's is worried about how much Congress and the White House are throwing at the economic crisis, but she sees one bright spot with the banking committee's refusal to fund a bailout of the big three auto makers.

"If they want this, they have to submit a new business plan and bind themselves to that business plan," said Feinstein.

Feinstein calls it a beginning.

"You see the strictures are now building and I think there's not going to be a lot of money that's going to be put out there with no strictures attached to it," said Feinstein.

In January, Feinstein is in line to become the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She's prepared legislation to go after her four top goals.

"One it closes Guantanamo within one year?Secondly, we would outlaw and ban torture once and for all?And the third thing would be prohibiting contractors of the CIA from doing interrogation of detainees? And the final thing is access by the International Committee of the Red Cross to detainees," said Feinstein.

But that is by no means the final thing.

"I strongly believe there should be new leadership, a new director of national intelligence, which is the individual who oversees all of the 16 agencies that are our intelligence agencies and a new CIA director," said Feinstein.

She wants the chair of the Intel Committee, if she gets it she already has a full plate.

"And so the run for governor?" asks Matthews.
"The run for governor is not until 2010 and we'll discuss that at a later time," said Feinstein.

Not too much later however. While the election for California governor is in 2010, the campaign starts much earlier. Incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his re-election campaign 14 months before the 2006 election.


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