Senate hears about 700 billion dollar bailout

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has told the Senate Banking Committee that Congress has to quickly pass the administration's 700-billion-dollar bailout of the financial industry. He calls the effort "the single most effective thing" that can be done to help "the American people and stimulate the economy."

Committee chairman Christopher Dodd vented his anger at what he called a combination of "private greed and public regulatory neglect" that resulted in an "economic maelstrom." The committee's ranking Republican, Richard Shelby, says he's concerned that he has heard "no credible assurances that this plan will work."

Vice President Cheney and White House budget director Jim Nussle have been meeting privately with several Republican House members who are not happy with the bill's price tag or with what they see as unwarranted government involvement in private business.

The proposal would allow the government to buy up soured mortgage-backed securities held by banks and other financial institutions.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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