Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Obama, McCain to Meet at White House Thursday on Bailout

Sen. Barack Obama said late tonight that he will visit the White House for a meeting with President Bush and Sen. John McCain on the administration's proposed $700 billion bailout of struggling Wall Street firms.

Bush had called on both candidates to come to the White House to help work out a compromise between the administration and Congress, which is balking at the proposal.

Obama though, is steadfastly contending that Friday's scheduled presidential debate should go on. McCain has said he would stay in Washington if no bailout agreement is reached by Friday morning.

The campaigns issued a joint statement yesterday:

The American people are facing a moment of economic crisis. No matter how this began, we all have a responsibility to work through it and restore confidence in our economy. The jobs, savings, and prosperity of the American people are at stake.

"Now is a time to come together - Democrats and Republicans - in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the American people. The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail. This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country."

Obama also offered his principles on his own, principles in which he asked McCain to support:

I believe that several core principles should guide this legislation. First, there must be oversight. We should not hand over a blank check to the discretion of one man. We support an independent, bipartisan board to ensure accountability and complete transparency.

Second, we need to protect taxpayers. There should be a path for taxpayers to recover their money, and to turn a profit if Wall Street prospers.

Third, no Wall Street executive should profit from taxpayer dollars. This plan cannot be a welfare program for CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility has contributed to this crisis.

Fourth, we must help families who are struggling to stay in their homes. We cannot bail out Wall Street without helping millions of families facing foreclosure on Main Street.

Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill.

This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. This is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem - this is an American problem. Now, we must find an American solution.

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