House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) broke her relative silence on the Treasury proposal to start buying mortgage-backed debt, issuing a statement Saturday evening that highlights the need for an "economic recovery package" to coincide with this massive new federal authority:
“Congress is reviewing the Bush Administration’s proposal to address the extraordinary crisis in our financial markets. It's clear that the Administration has requested that Congress authorize, in very short order, sweeping and unprecedented powers for the Treasury Secretary to confront a financial crisis of historic proportions.
“Democrats will work with the Administration to ensure that our response to events in the financial markets is swift, but we must insulate Main Street from Wall Street and keep people in their homes by reducing mortgage foreclosures.
“In working with the Administration, we will strengthen the proposal by ensuring that the government is accountable to the taxpayers in any future actions under this broad grant of authority, implementing strong oversight mechanisms, and establishing fast-track authority for the Congress to act on responsible regulatory reform.
“As I told President Bush yesterday, we will also seek to protect lower- and middle-income Americans, who need to be protected from the fallout of the ongoing Wall Street crisis, by enacting an economic recovery package that creates jobs and returns growth to our economy.”