| RENO, Nev.
RENO, Nev. U.S. presidential candidate Barack
Obama urged lawmakers on Tuesday to return to the negotiating
table to work on a financial rescue deal and offered a new
proposal he said could help attract support.
The Democratic White House contender suggested raising the
limit on bank deposits guaranteed by the federal government to
$250,000 from its current level of $100,000.
"One step we could take to potentially broaden support for
the legislation and shore up our economy would be to expand
federal deposit insurance for families and small businesses
across America who have invested their money in our banks,"
Obama said in a written statement.
In a shocking vote on Monday, U.S. lawmakers in the House
of Representatives rejected a $700 billion bailout package,
prompting one of the worst plunges in stock prices in Wall
Obama, an Illinois senator vying against Republican John
McCain in the Nov. 4 election, said a failure by Congress to
come together on a plan "would be catastrophic for our economy
and our families."
"At this moment, when the jobs, retirement savings, and
economic security of all Americans hang in the balance, it is
imperative that all of us -- Democrats and Republicans alike --
come together to meet this crisis," Obama said.
The rescue package that was rejected was worked out in
marathon weekend talks among White House officials and
Republican and Democratic negotiators. It would have allowed
the government to buy up bad debt from troubled Wall Street
firms and banks.
The House voted 228-to-205 against it.
Obama said he did not think starting from scratch with a
new bill would succeed.
But he said the deposit insurance proposal might be a way
of drawing more interest toward the bill, which lawmakers who
rejected it saying the plan does little beyond cleaning up Wall
"I will be talking to leaders and members of Congress later
today to offer this idea and urge them to act without delay to
pass a rescue plan," he said.
McCain accused Obama and other Democrats of politicizing
the debate over the bailout, while Democrats said he was
deflecting attention from his own failures.
Obama has a slight lead in the polls over McCain.
(Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by Philip Barbara)
Keywords: FINANCIAL/BAILOUT OBAMA