In yet another signal that John McCain is looking for change in Washington, the Republican presidential candidate urged lawmakers to adopt five improvements, originally suggested by the Democratic Party, to the government’s $700-billion proposed bailout of the US financial system.
Of course, McCain says these are his ideas. But we know the truth.
CNN) — In his first press conference in nearly six weeks, Sen. John McCain urged lawmakers Tuesday to adopt five of his proposed improvements to the government’s proposed financial rescue plan.
President Bush has asked Congress to act quickly on the $700 billion bailout he proposed following news of failing financial institutions and frozen credit markets.
McCain, speaking in Freeland, Michigan, said the proposed plan has to allow for greater accountability, including a bipartisan board to “provide oversight to the rescue.”
“That oversight is absolutely essential,” McCain said, also arguing against the unprecedented power granted to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in managing the plan.
As called for by Nancy Pelosi and other key Congressional Democrats over the past few days.
He said the plan must also help taxpayers recover the $700 billion planned for the bailout.
“That money simply can’t go into a black hole of bad debt with no means of recovering the funds.”
Lawmakers wanted to know why the government couldn’t get stakes in the companies participating in the program or any other concessions. “It’s essential that the taxpayers of this country are compensated for their assistance,” said Sen. Jack Reed (D., R.I.).
The Arizona senator also called for complete transparency in regard to crafting and implementation of any legislation.
“This can’t be cobbled together behind closed doors. The American people have the right to know which businesses will be helped, and what selection will be based on, and how much that help will cost,” he said.
“This is eerily similar to the rush to war in Iraq,” said Rep. Mike McNulty (D., N.Y.), voicing deep skepticism. “We have been told repeatedly by this administration that the economy is fundamentally sound, and then all of the sudden they say the economy is going to collapse. That is unacceptable.”
McCain also called for a cap on executive pay for companies getting federal help. Senior leaders of any firm bailed out by the federal government “should not be making more than the highest paid government official,” he said.
Also called for by the Democrats; this time most prominently by Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi. “The party is over for this compensation for C.E.O.’s who take golden parachutes as they drive their companies into the ground,” Ms. Pelosi said.
Finally, McCain said it would be “unacceptable” for Congress to add earmarks and so-called pork barrel legislation to this plan.
This is about the only thing I’ve seen that I hadn’t already read from a Democrat … but I don’t think that even the Democrats would be silly enough to attempt to attach any earmarks or pork-barrel spending to this proposal, except perhaps adding provisions to ensure that American homeowners have some sort of recourse to refinance their mortgages in an attempt to keep their houses.
Time will tell … but it seems like McCain is with the Democrats on this one … so perhaps we can convince him to support Obama for President as well.