Bush urged Congress to move fast on the $700 billion bailout package for Wall Street. Democratic lawmakers urged caution, citing warrantless wiretapping as an example of what happens when a bill is passed in haste. Below is an excerpt on Bush's statement regarding the rescue plan. Underneath the excerpt is a quote from Senator Leahy, comparing Bush's urgency today with his push to pass the Patriot Act, legislation that has been criticized for giving the government enhanced powers to spy on the public.
From The Washington Post:
President Bush this morning warned lawmakers against trying to make too many changes to the proposed financial bailout legislation, saying the plan needs to be passed quickly and relatively intact to stem damage to global financial markets.
Weekend negotiations "made good headway" in crafting a bill to bolster a system weighed down by problem home mortgages, Bush said. But with proposals circulating to include provisions for homeowners in the bill or to use it to limit executive compensation, Bush cautioned that too many added provisions could impede approval of critically needed legislation.
Patrick Leahy on the bailout package:
"We will do something this week -- but if we learned anything from right after 9/11, it's that the biggest mistake is to pass anything they ask for just because it's an emergency," Leahy says.
The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman knows of what he speaks. He sponsored the original Patriot Act, only to feel betrayed later when the Bush administration used it to justify domestic wiretapping.
Katharine Zaleski is the Senior News Editor at HuffingtonPost.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org