President Bush Tries To Secure Deal To Shore-Up Banking Sector

President George W Bush has said that legislators will “rise to the occasion” and pass the Wall Street rescue plan.

In a statement he said there were still disagreements because “the proposal is big and the reason it’s big is because it’s a big problem”.

President Bush is expected to resume talks with Congressional leaders later on Friday to try to reach an agreement.

He wants to pass a $700bn (£380bn) rescue package to buy mortgage-backed assets from US banks.

Harmful

“There is no disagreement that something substantial must be done,” he added.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, agreed, saying on Friday: “We’re going to get this done and stay in session as long as it takes to get it done.”

He also said that “the insertion of presidential politics has not been helpful, it’s been harmful” adding that Republican presidential candidate John McCain had not made his position on the financial rescue package clear.

Mr McCain, who had announced that he not take part in a presidential debate with rival Barack Obama until a bail-out plan was agreed, said on Friday that he would fly to Mississippi for the debate later.

Resistance

Republican critics of the bail-out plan are worried about both its cost and how it would involve the government in the financial sector.

The BBC’s Adam Brookes in Washington predicted a tough day of negotiations ahead.

“Republicans in the House are going to continue, they say, to try to resist this plan,” he said.

“They are also trying to convince Senator John McCain, the presidential contender, to jump in their direction.”

Instead, the rebels want a government-backed insurance policy to cover the huge amounts of bad debt built up by US banks. Democrats meanwhile want to secure limits to payments for executives of failed banks and ensure there is adequate help for struggling US homeowners.

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