Obama administration says rescue plan "on track"

Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:02pm EST
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An official in President Barack Obama's administration said on Saturday the announcement of a rescue plan for the financial system was running on schedule.

"We are on track," the administration official said in response to a question about a CNN report that the plan's announcement would take extra time due to its complex nature.

The official said the administration had never announced a formal date for the roll-out of the plan to bolster the banking system and credit markets that have been battered by the collapse of the U.S. housing market and a spike in mortgage failures. The official declined to provide further details.

CNN, citing administration officials, said the announcement of the plan would be pushed into the second week of February as officials sort out details.

"Administration aides are saying that they want to get the details right, that there are a lot of moving pieces, and so it's going to take an extra week," CNN said.

Administration officials are weighing elements to include in the plan, including whether to restrict executive compensation, how to get credit markets flowing and how to deal with the foreclosure crisis, CNN said.

Efforts to get the first installment of the $700 billion bailout initiative launched last year were rushed, resulting in difficulties, and the Obama administration believes that "getting these details right might make sense," CNN said.

Obama said earlier in the day the plan would be announced soon and would help lower mortgage costs for homeowners and spur the flow of credit to businesses and households.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal and Matt Spetalnick; editing by Peter Cooney)