Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) couldn't pass up a chance to slam President Bush's economic policies, but he promised that Senate Democrats would move quickly to take up the $700 billion Treasury bailout plan.
Reid, though, also wants more political cover from Bush and GOP congressional leaders before Democrats line up by the proposal offered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
"It is now self-evident that the Bush Administration's extreme hands-off policies have been disastrous," Reid said in a statement released by his office. "The middle class is suffering from rising prices and declining incomes, and now the world financial system is on the brink. The American people have every right to be outraged that we are at this point."
Reid added: "At the same time, we cannot allow ourselves to be in denial about the threat now facing the world economy. From all indications, that threat is real, and the consequences of inaction could be catastrophic.
Every single American has a stake in preventing a global financial meltdown. Our first priority must be to prevent that from happening. While the Bush proposal raises some serious issues, we need to resolve them quickly. I am confident that, working together, we will. Meanwhile, I call on the President to better explain to the public the severity of the threat all Americans face, and why he believes his approach is needed.
I also call on him and Congressional Republicans to work with us to address the crisis facing the middle class. Democrats believe we must provide real relief to working families before we adjourn.”