Chris Dodd, in his opening statement, cited the constitutional dangers posed by turning the Treasury Department into the country's economic overlord.
"After reading this proposal I can only conclude that it is not just our economy that is at risk, Mr. Secretary, but out constitution as well."
Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the committee, continued his attack on the plan, starting with a good whack at former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan who once told the committee that there was "a rather small risk to the mortgage market and the economy as a whole" from a fall in housing prices.
Shelby urged the committee to put the brakes on the process, slamming Paulson's "ad hoc" attempts to prop up Bear Stearns, A.I.G. and other institutions actually "injected additional uncertainty" into the financial system.
The Dow is up about 75 points.