U.S. President George Bush has tried to reassure American taxpayers
that a proposed plan to rescue the country's struggling financial
services industry is in their interests.
In his weekly radio address today (Saturday), Mr. Bush
said he understands that it does not seem fair for the government to
ask them to "pay for mistakes on Wall Street." But he said the failure
of the financial system would mean financial hardship for many
Opinion polls show most Americans oppose the government's plan to spend
up to 700 billion dollars in taxpayer money to buy up bad investments
from troubled financial firms.
The proposal also is meeting opposition in Congress. While Democrats
and Republicans in the Senate mostly agree with the broad principles of
the measure, Republicans in the House of Representatives have firmly
objected to the cost.
Lawmakers are continuing negotiations on the plan today. Senate (Democratic) Majority Leader Harry Reid (of Nevada) says about 15 issues remain unresolved, but that a deal is possible by Sunday night.
In the Democratic radio address, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (of Maryland)
said there must be strong oversight of where and how that money is
spent. He said it cannot be used to fund lavish bonuses for chief
executives of financial firms that acted irresponsibly.
The bailout plan has the support of British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown. Following his meeting with President Bush in Washington Friday,
Mr. Brown noted that the financial crisis has implications in other
parts of the world. He also suggested enacting tighter global banking