Coburn Says 'Paulson Plan Isn’t Going Anywhere'

September 26, 2008 - 6:14 PM
The Bush administration plan for a $700-billion bailout of the financial industry &quot;isn't going anywhere,&quot; Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told <b>CNSNews.com</b> on Friday.
(CNSNews.com) - The Bush administration’s plan for a $700-billion bailout of the financial industry “isn’t going anywhere,” Sen. Tom Coburn(R-Okla.) told CNSNews.com on Friday.

Other conservative Senators also told CNSNews.com on Friday that they still have many unanswered questions about the necessity and scope of the plan.

“The Paulson plan, the way its written, is not something Congress is going to give him (Bush),” Coburn told CNSNews.com on Friday.  “The devil is in the details. Like I said the Paulson plan isn’t going anywhere.”

Under the bailout plan originally proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Sept 20, the Treasury would have the authority to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-backed securities from financial institutions for the purpose of stabilizing the market.

“Republicans realize that we have to do something,” Coburn said. “But we [the Senate] have to have our fingerprints on it and it has got to have transparency and accountability.

Coburn said that he wasn’t willing to “negotiate with the press” on what changes must be made to the economic recovery plan before he will support it.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) also told CNSNews.com that he and many conservatives in the Senate continue to have serious questions about the scope of Paulson’s plan and whether or not it is even necessary.

“To what extent is this bill really needed?” Brownback said. “I mean it’s $700 billion that’s being rushed at the end of the session.  That’s the biggest thing people are trying to appraise overall. That’s the biggest factor.”

Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.) told CNSNews.com that he believes the cost is too high.

“I haven’t seen justification at this point for us to be so massively intervening in the economy,” Sessions said. “I have been disappointed that the approach has been so massive and broad because I think it sets a precedent to secretaries of the Treasury in the future to intervene in the marketplace for unworthy reasons.”

None of the Senate conservatives who spoke with CNSNews.com on Friday, however, said they anticipate a scenario where a filibuster would be necessary to halt a bailout bill.

“I don’t think a useless filibuster is worthwhile,” Sessions said. “If you don’t have forty votes and if they have sixty plus it doesn’t make sense just to delay something even if you don’t agree with it.”

All three of the Senators said they will need to take a close look whatever plan finally emerges before they can decide whether to opposed it or support it.

The White House and leaders from both parties in Congress said on Friday that they believe a plan that has bi-partisan support will be formulated before Wall Street’s opening bell on Monday morning.

In a live television address to the nation on Wednesday, President Bush said that the package his administration has proposed is urgently needed to calm the markets and restore confidence in the reeling financial system.