**FILE** In this May 2, 2007 file photo showing the Fannie Mae building in Washington. Fannie and Freddie each fell more than 40 percent Friday, July 11, 2008, on growing speculation that a government bailout is needed. A collapse of the two financiers would cause further shock to the financial system, and trigger more losses to banks and brokerages with significant holdings of mortgage-backed securities. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)
Washington (AP) Senator Charles Schumer says he believes congress must act quickly to rebuild the crumbling financial system but that lawmakers must have a strong supervisory role in how the 700 billion dollar bailout program is run.
The New York Democrat says if there are provisions for a return of money in connection with the absorption of bad debt at various financial institutions, “it should go to taxpayers before bondholders, shareholders and executives.”
Schumer is a member of the senate banking committee. He also said on NBC's “Today” show that “we have to have somebody overlooking the treasury secretary's shoulder.”
Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina republican, differed with Schumer, saying congress should resist the Bush administration's pleas for the legislation.
In DeMint's words: “the government broke it. I don't trust them to fix it.”
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