As the US Congress begins debating the Bush administration’s plan for a massive bailout of the financial sector, the country’s presidential candidates are raising doubts about it.
Republican John McCain is calling for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to be monitored by a bipartisan oversight board, to be headed by a respected business leader.
He said: “I’m greatly concerned about the plan that gives a single individual the unprecedented power to spend one trillion dollars, one trillion dollars, without any meaningful accountability … When we’re talking about a trillion dollars of taxpayer money, ‘trust me’ just isn’t good enough.”
Democrat Barack Obama also said the bailout, worth the equivalent of 475 billion euros, should not be a blank cheque that comes with no oversights and accountability.
He said: “This week, we have to work quickly, in a bipartisan fashion, to resolve the immediate crisis and to avert an even broader economic catastrophe. As we do act, Washington has to recognise that true economic recovery requires addressing not just the crisis on Wall Street, but the crisis on Main Street.”
With the campaign increasingly focused on the economy, a new opinion poll gives Obama 51 percent support and McCain 46 percent.