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Nancy Pelosi says legislation needed for financial crisis; no time for academic discussions

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Pelosi Remarks After White House Meeting on Crisis in Financial Markets

Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leaders, and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank held a news conference in the Capitol tonight to discuss the continuing negotiations with the Administration on legislation to address the financial markets crisis. Below are her remarks:

"Good evening. Thank you all for being here. As you know, today we had some meetings starting earlier this morning, where we had bipartisan, bicameral, House and Senate meeting of the members of the Financial Services Committee and the Banking Committee. We came near to agreement in almost all of the issues before that group.

"Later in the day, we had a meeting at the White House with the President to discuss, first of all, the urgency of acting, second of all, that was not a negotiating session, it was just sort of a touch base session. It's clear that it is urgent that Congress act and we fully intend to do so. We'd like to do so expeditiously because it's very important to the markets, to bring stability to the markets, as we protect the taxpayers.

"We're very pleased that the President acknowledged last night in his remarks four of the principles that we had been looking for, which was oversight, forbearance for homeowners, CEO compensation, and equity for the American taxpayer. We think in making this large of investment, the taxpayer should have sole ownership, some upside to it, get some of the benefit of the investment.

"We're not there yet. I'm confident that we will be there. There's actually, as you may be aware of, a proposal put forth by the House Republicans. I don't know the full substance of it, but if it's something that can be included in the bill, in terms of the authority given to the Treasury Secretary, I'm sure that can be worked out. If it's contradictory to the purposes of the legislation, then that's up to the Secretary to decide.

"But we're interested in moving forward and to accommodate many good ideas and because the issue is so urgent, another time, a less urgent situation, we could take all the time in the world, to have an academic discussion of many possibilities. But right now, as I have said before, time is of the essence.

"We're very proud of the work of Chairman Barney Frank. We could not be better led in negotiations than by him. His commitment to working families in America, to help people from Main Street to everyday Americans, who depends on what happens on Wall Street, whether they know it or not. They're putting their jobs on risk, home ownership, the education of their children, their retirement and pensions, their small businesses, you name it. Barney has them as his priority. He knows the issues before his committee. He's an expert; he's a master of it, as a matter of fact. He also knows the need for us to have balance and compromise in this bill. This bill will have bipartisan support and be signed by the President.

"I'm pleased to yield to the distinguished chair of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 25, 2008 11:22 PM.

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