Dems Bristle Over 'Blank Check' Bailout

Lawmakers vow not to rush bill like Sept. 11 legislation
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2008 7:33 PM CDT
Democrats began the week by blaming President Bush for the financial crisis and said it was his job to fix it.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
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(Newser) – Democratic lawmakers showed concern today over a proposed $700 billion bailout plan that Barack Obama called a "blank check," Politico reports. Sen. Patrick Leahy vowed not to repeat their post-Sept. 11 mistake—of rushing legislation that President Bush used to justify wiretapping—while others said voters may see the plan as aid for the rich. Breaking his silence, Obama demanded “independent accountability and oversight" in the bill.

Other Democrats kept up demands that the package limit executive remuneration and give aid to homeowners who face foreclosure. Still, many admitted that swift action was necessary. “We will do something this week," Leahy said, "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."