Obama to Support $700B Bailout If …

By Jennifer Parker

Sep 23, 2008 5:00pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: Shortly after landing in the Sunshine State to prepare for Friday’s first presidential debate –- Sen. Barack Obama held a news conference to discuss the emergency economic package that’s being debated in Congress, and outlined his proposals for what he would like to be included in the plan.

"The President’s stubborn inflexibility is both unacceptable and disturbingly familiar," Obama said in Clearwater Florida about the Bush administration’s call today for Congress to act quickly to pass a "clean" bailout plan.

"This is not the time for my-way-or-the-highway intransigence from anyone involved," Obama said.

Obama argued the bailout plan should include protections to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to further reward the bad behavior of irresponsible CEOs on Wall Street.

The Democratic presidential candidate also wants an independent board of economic wise men and women chosen by Democrats and Republicans to provide oversight and accountability to the plan. Obama argued Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson cannot act alone on this.

Obama also called for a return on any profits made by the government from the plan to taxpayers and argued the plan should provide assistance to help to families who are struggling to stay in their homes.

Obama called for additional legislation — not part of the administration’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout package–- to pass his proposed tax cut for working families.

"The American people need to know that we feel as great a sense of urgency about the emergency on Main Street as we do about the problems on Wall Street," Obama concluded.

Obama did not say decisively if he will support the current proposal in Congress if it doesn’t include the provisions he has laid out.

"The principles I outlined are principles I believe any package needs to contain for me to support it. And there are a number of ways of accomplishing it," he said, arguing that if the plan does not include his principals then he will recommend Paulson to go back to the rework another proposal.

The McCain campaign was quick to respond to Obama’s proposal, “Whether calling for a bipartisan oversight board or prohibitions on golden parachutes, Barack Obama is simply following in John McCain’s footsteps while trying to respond to this financial crisis,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

Obama –- who is huddling with his advisors in Tampa for three days of debate preparation — said that he will only come back to Washington to vote for the bill if it’s a close vote.

"Well look, if we get a consensus and everybody is popping champagne –- then I will probably be going back to campaign with folks who are having a tough time in places like Ohio, and Michigan and Pennsylvania. If this ends up being a close vote or a vote where the outcome is an open question then obviously this is a top priority,” he said.

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