Treasury Could Begin Spending $1 Trillion on Bailout Without Congressional Approval, McCain Says
September 30, 2008 - 9:00 AMSen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, indicated on Tuesday that the Bush administration could simply bypass Congress, if necessary, to begin dealing with the nation's financial crisis.
“The Treasury has at its disposal about a trillion dollars that they could begin, without congressional authority, buying up some of these terrible mortgages and help stabilize the situation,” Sen. John McCain told Fox & Friends.
McCain also insisted that Congress must act, even though the House failed to pass a $700-billion financial rescue package on Monday.
McCain, apparently stung by Democratic criticism that he didn’t help the deal-making process last week, noted on Tuesday that he helped “get more Republicans on board” for Tuesday’s vote. But it wasn’t enough. In the end, 133 Republicans voted against the plan, along with 95 Democrats. The vote to defeat the bill was 228-205.
McCain says he would have voted for the bill, and he said he’ll keep working until something gets done:
“We’re going to have to change enough Republican and Democrat minds,” McCain said. “People’s credit is at risk here. The ability to buy a car, to make your home loan payments, for small businesses to get credit – look, this is affecting Main Street America. And we’re going to have to resolve it, and we’re going to have to act.”
McCain noted that $1.2 trillion of American investments was “wiped out” in Monday’s stock market drop, and he said it’s important to help Americans understand how this affects working families.
He also expressed a willingness to go against public opinion, which is running strongly against the rescue/bailout. “I have to do what’s right for this country,” McCain said.
“I didn’t side with the majority of the American people when I said we had to have 30,000 additional troops in Iraq…Time after time, I’ve stood up for what I know is right, so what our job is, is to convince the American people” that the package is “not for Wall Street,” but for “average Americans citizens.”
McCain told Fox & Friends he doesn’t anticipate suspending his campaign a second time. The House is out for the Jewish holiday anyway, he noted.
“I’ll do whatever I can to make this thing work,” McCain said. “I’ll continue to do whatever is necessary. And I will put my presidential campaign on the back burner, if necessary, and do anything,” as long as it’s effective, he said.
Both McCain and Sen. Barack Obama have called for raising federal deposit insurance on deposits, savings accounts and bank certificates of deposit from the present $100,000 to $250,000.