by Kevin Flynn - Wednesday October 1 2008 08:37:12 AM
From the Washington Post:
"We must act and we must act now," Obama told thousands at the University of Nevada at Reno. "We cannot have another day like yesterday. We cannot risk another week or another month where American businesses are afraid to extend credit and lend money."
"For the rest of today and as long as it takes, I'll continue to reach out to leaders in both parties and do whatever I can," Obama said. "To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say -- step up to the plate and do what's right for this country."
Both Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, will appear for a vote on the rescue package, according to aides. And Obama planned to appear in interviews on all three major networks to press for the bill's passage as well.
..."If this is executed the right way," Obama said, "then the government will temporarily purchase the bad assets of our financial institutions so that they can start lending again, and then sell those troubled assets once the markets settle down and the economy recovers."
...He added: "If all that meant was the failure of a few big banks on Wall Street, that'd be one thing. But that's not what it means. What it means is that if we don't act, it will be harder for you to get a mortgage for your home.... Thousands of businesses could close around the country. Millions of jobs could be lost. A long and painful recession could follow."
Obama used the speech to blast GOP efforts to deregulate the market, but at the same time said, "This is one of those defining moments when the American people are looking to Washington for leadership. It is not a time for politics." He invoked Franklin D. Roosevelt's "fireside chats" during the Great Depression as a reminder of how Americans could come together in hard times with the right leadership.
"There is plenty of blame to go around -- and many in Washington and Wall Street deserve it," Obama said, adding: "All of us now have a responsibility to solve this crisis because it affects the financial well-being of every single American. There will be time to punish those who set this fire. But now is the moment for us to come together and put the fire out."
U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama urged lawmakers on Tuesday to return to the negotiating table to work on a financial rescue deal and offered a new proposal he said could help attract support.
The Democratic White House contender suggested raising the limit on bank deposits guaranteed by the federal government to $250,000 from its current level of $100,000.
"One step we could take to potentially broaden support for the legislation and shore up our economy would be to expand federal deposit insurance for families and small businesses across America who have invested their money in our banks," Obama said in a written statement.
...Obama, an Illinois senator... said a failure by Congress to come together on a plan "would be catastrophic for our economy and our families."
"At this moment, when the jobs, retirement savings, and economic security of all Americans hang in the balance, it is imperative that all of us -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- come together to meet this crisis," Obama said.
The rescue package that was rejected was worked out in marathon weekend talks among White House officials and Republican and Democratic negotiators. It would have allowed the government to buy up bad debt from troubled Wall Street firms and banks.
..."I will be talking to leaders and members of Congress later today to offer this idea and urge them to act without delay to pass a rescue plan," he said.
From the Las Vegas Sun:
Their home values have been plummeting for months and 401(k) plans got gutted Monday (though the market rebounded slightly Tuesday), so it’s understandable that the 12,000 people who turned out Tuesday to hear presidential candidate Barack Obama had a big case of economic anxiety.
...“Sen. Obama gives us hope ... These are terrible times for Americans,” said Erica Spaight, 32, whose house is on the market for $80,000 less than she bought it for two years ago, with the help of an adjustable-rate mortgage.
The agreement that failed in the House of Representatives on Monday, sending stocks tumbling, should be strengthened, with more safeguards for taxpayers, and passed by Congress, he [Obama] said.
“I don’t pretend this is going to be easy. It’s going to be hard. We will all need to sacrifice,” he said.
...Explaining why the bailout was needed, he pointed to pension funds and retirement investments tied to the stock market, and small businesses that need access to credit to meet payroll.
“What this crisis has taught us is that at the end of the day, there is no real separation between Main Street and Wall Street.”
...Betty Manson, 62, of Sparks, appreciated that Obama had talked about the economy instead of delivering a soaring political speech.
“I think we would have been angry if he didn’t talk about the economy,” she said.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The two presidential candidates embraced proposals to boost federal deposit insurance, as their campaigns looked for political advantage after the rejection of the financial rescue plan.
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain said they support raising the cap on deposits protected by federal insurance to $250,000 from the current $100,000. They argued that adding more depositor protections to the bank rescue bill might help resurrect the legislation that was turned down Monday in a House vote.
...Sen. Obama, campaigning in Nevada, quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt's call for Americans to "unite in banishing fear." Sen. Obama also for the first time fully endorsed the rescue package, calling its passage "imperative." The current market turmoil "is no longer just a Wall Street crisis," he said, but "an American crisis." Sen. Obama said he would reach out to leaders in both parties to help secure a plan.
...The Obama campaign raised the issue first Tuesday with an emailed statement that called for including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. proposal in the bank rescue bill.
About four hours later, the McCain campaign released its statement, saying Sen. McCain had discussed the issue with President George W. Bush.