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 Americans.
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 regulations.