Paulson Urges Quick Action On $700 Billion Bailout

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration is insisting that Congress move quickly on what one lawmaker is calling the “mother of all bailouts.”

It’s the administration’s request for as much as $700 billion to buy up the mountain of bad mortgage debt that’s jeopardizing the nation’s credit markets.

All sides are hoping for action this week, although Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said today, “If it takes a little longer, so be it.”

Some congressional leaders are insisting the administration’s stark, three-page plan be expanded to include help for people on Main Street, not just Wall Street, blaming Wall Streeters for losing billions through bad investment decisions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi complains the proposal does not include necessary safeguards to prevent abuses in the future. She wants better oversight, protection for homeowners and a lid on what financial bosses are paid.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is stressing the need for speed. He says delay could mean more stomach-churning days for global financial markets.