Obama, McCain urge revival of bailout

Wed Oct 1, 2008 6:49am EDT
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By Caren Bohan

RENO, Nevada (Reuters) - White House contenders Barack Obama and John McCain sought to persuade skeptical Americans on Tuesday to back a $700 billion Wall Street bailout package and planned to be in Washington on Wednesday to vote on the measure.

A day after the U.S. House of Representatives sent global markets reeling by rejecting the financial rescue plan, Senate leaders said on Tuesday they scheduled a Wednesday evening vote on a new version of the measure, including a big increase in the amount of bank deposits protected by the government's insurance program.

The campaigns of Democrat Obama and Republican McCain said the candidates would be on hand for the vote.

Obama and McCain had blamed each other for contributing to the collapse of the legislation on Monday, but a day later each stressed the need for both parties to work together to try to reach an agreement palatable to some of the 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans who combined to defeat the bailout.

Both encouraged Americans to back a Wall Street rescue because, as McCain said in Des Moines, Iowa, "Inaction is not an option." If the bailout passes the Senate, as expected, it would put more pressure on the House to follow suit when it meets again on Thursday.

Raising the limit on bank deposit insurance to $250,000 from $100,000 is an effort to shore up consumer and business confidence in banks and prevent a run on deposits. It may also win over politicians trying to sell the public on the hugely expensive plan, funded by taxpayers and seen as benefiting wealthy financiers who helped create the problem.

A new poll by the Pew Research Center found weakening public support for the bailout. The Saturday-Monday survey said Americans backed the plan by only a 45 percent to 38 percent margin.

'TIME FOR ACTION'   Continued...

<p>Conservative leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa September 29, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>