Bailout agreement reached in Congress. Obama calls it “culmination of a sorry period in our history.”


U.S. lawmakers on Sunday were set to sign off on a deal to create a $700 billion government fund to buy bad debt from ailing banks in a bid to stem a credit crisis threatening the global economy.

After marathon talks into the wee hours of Sunday morning, congressional leaders from both parties emerged with an agreement that altered key parts of a Wall Street bailout program initially proposed by the Bush administration.

Here is Obama’s full statement on the deal:

“The breakthrough between Congress and the Administration is the culmination of a sorry period in our history, in which reckless speculation and greed on Wall Street and lax oversight from Washington led to a meltdown of our financial markets. But regardless of how we got here, a failure to deal with the current crisis would have devastating consequences for our economy, costing millions of Americans their jobs and retirement security.

“To understand how this tentative deal was reached, it’s important to remember how this all began. The Bush Administration initially asked for a blank check to respond to this problem, which I strongly opposed. It would have been unconscionable to expect the American people to hand this Administration or any Administration a $700 billion check with no conditions and no oversight when a lack of oversight in Washington and on Wall Street is exactly what got us into this mess. If the American people are being asked to pay for the solution to this crisis, their tax dollars must be protected.

There’s more. The rest is after the break.

“That is why over the past ten days, in conversations with the President, Secretary of Treasury and leaders of Congress, I laid out the four core principles I believed had to guide any solution: oversight by an independent board; protections for taxpayers to ensure that they are treated like investors and that they receive any profits – and recoup any losses – from this plan; measures to help homeowners stay in their homes; and rules to make sure CEOs are not being rewarded at taxpayers’ expense. While I look forward to reviewing the language of the legislation, it appears that the tentative deal embraces these principles.

“When taxpayers are asked to take such an extraordinary step because of the irresponsibility of a relative few, it is not a cause for celebration. But this step is necessary. Now Washington has to show the same sense of urgency in dealing with the crisis facing Main Street and the middle class by passing an emergency economic stimulus plan that would create jobs by rebuilding our crumbing roads; shore up flagging state budgets to prevent drastic cuts in education and health care; and extend expiring unemployment insurance benefits for those who’ve lost their jobs in this downturn and cannot find new ones.

“One final point. If elected President, I will order a thorough review of this plan to make sure that it fully lives up to the principles I’ve laid out. And I will also move quickly to upgrade our financial regulations for the 21st century, establishing new rules of the road and tougher oversight to ensure that the American taxpayers are never again forced to put their money and their futures at risk because of bad decisions in Washington and on Wall Street.”

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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